The art of “kisses”: Seneca’s Baci Perugina

Federico Seneca (1891-1976), one of the best European commercial artists of the 1900s, collaborated with noted Italian confectionery company Perugina from the early 1920s to 1933.

The Perugia-based company is most famous for its “Baci” (“kisses”) – made with chocolate, ‘gianduia’ (hazelnut chocolate), and chopped hazelnuts. Seneca developed the sweet product’s packaging and presentation, with the typography and romantic illustration of a couple – inspired by Francesco Hayez’s “The Kiss” – that still connote Baci’s blue box.

Seneca’s professional scrupulosity is legendary. He often created a wire model of the work he planned, on which he sculpted a putty figurine, from which he subsequently obtained a plaster cast that allowed him to check the balance between volumes, and the contrast between light and shadow. Only after this lengthy process, he finally started to draw.

Here is a gallery of the advertising posters the great Marche-born artist created for chocolate pralines and other Perugina confectionary products.

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