Fish Bowl, c. 1960 by Graziella Laffi (1923-2009), Peru
Fish Bowl, c. 1960 by Graziella Laffi (1923-2009), Peru sterling silver, bronze, pigment 1.5” high x 9.5” long x 7.5” deep
Born in Florence, Italy, Laffi studied drawing, painting, and architecture before turning her attention to silversmithing. In 1947, following the throes of World War II, she immigrated with her parents to Peru. Soon after arriving in Lima, her father, Gino Laffi, began exhibiting his work at the Centro Italiano, Lima, and not long after in 1953 he opened a small workshop (Casa Laffi), where he produced silverwork influenced by contemporary Italian tastes. Although Graziella’s work differs markedly from that of her father (much of which was geared to the tourist market), it was at his workshop that she developed her remarkable skills as a silversmith.
Profoundly fascinated by her adoptive country, Graziella traveled extensively throughout the region, studying many of its antiquities. Significantly, when she arrived in Peru, the country was deeply engaged in a search for its own artistic identity and the desire to create a modern visual vocabulary rooted in pre-Columbian motifs. Laffi was particularly captivated by Peru’s ancient past, which led her to research many of its antiquities. She also began collecting and zealously guarding pre-Columbian objects.