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Carlo Sbisa Ceramics From MV AUGUSTUS

MV AUGUSTUS First Class Bar, facing forward.

Carlo Sbisa (1889 -- 1964) was a celebrated Trieste-based artist. His early works were heavily influenced by 16th Century Classicism and he became well known for his frescoes (including the Museo del Risorgimento and the Hall of Assicurazioni Generali). After the war, he focused on sculpture and ceramic art (notable works include the reliefs for the chapel of Trieste Central Train Station, and the basilica of Aquileia) and it was during this time that he was commissioned by Italian Line to do the ceramic insets for the First Class Bar of the MV AUGUSTUS.

PHILIPPINES Bar, facing aft

MS PHILIPPINES Bar, facing aft. Despite new soft fittings and furniture, including the bar stools, the bar and its ceramic insets were left intact.

The bar survived countless transatlantic crossings and was left unchanged during the ship’s latter days as the MS PHILIPPINES.


A close-up view of one of the ceramics in place.

The colorful glazes are as eye-popping as the abstract coral-inspired shapes he incorporated in these unusual works.

Sbisa signature ceramic

The signature piece after removal from the ship.

Sbisa ceramics

A selection of the Sbisa ceramics.

Most of the ceramics were safely removed along with the macassar laminate backing when the ship was scrapped in 2011/2012 at Alang.

Sbisa installation

Panels mounted...

I had a pair of the panels mounted with the ceramic insets in one of our most recent installations.

Sbisa installed

Back in service in their new land-locked domain.

I hope to use other parts of the panel for a future exhibition.

WIth special thanks to Brett Swarens and Tom Nicolai for their skilled craftsmanship.

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