1877 – 1946
Guido Ravasi was born in Milan on 27 April 1877.
His father produced and traded in silks and yarns and bequeathed the business to Guido when he was still young.
After years of work experience abroad, in 1912 he moved to Como.
The twenties and thirties brought Ravasi into the national and international limelight thanks to his presence in all the most important showcases, including the 1925 Paris International Exhibition and the 1927 Voltiana Exhibition.
He was counted among the protagonists of the history of 20th century textile art, but he should also be remembered for his commitment to a whole series of other interests: he designed the staircase of the S. Giovanni railway station (1927), while Ravasi’s project for the Monumento ai Caduti, a cylindrical bell tower at the centre of a pedestrian path, was replaced by the Marinetti-esque Sant’Elia project (1930).
He held various institutional positions but above all devoted himself to art, painting and sculpture.
He also devoted himself to writing and collected his experiences of work and life in “Sotto il faggio rosso di Cardina” (Under the Red Beech Tree of Cardina), published in Como by Cavalleri in 1944. There are three copies in the Como Municipal Library, which can be consulted in the library.
In 1918 he bought the villa in Cardina (a Como’s district) and moved there in 1935 after many years of work to shape it to his own taste, with the help of the architect Federico Frigerio.
Even before completing the renovation, however, “…as soon as the amplitude of Cardina allowed me to have permanent guests…”, Ravasi began to receive in the new villa, which he liked to call “Collegio Cardina”, a series of personalities from the Italian cultural world, all his close friends.
The names that can be included in the list of Ravasi’s friendships are fascinating: musicians, orchestra conductors, writers, theatre artists, political and ecclesiastical figures, architects, painters and sculptors.
Guido Ravasi died in Como on 13 November 1946.