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Born in 1912, Gino Sarfatti revolutionized the field of Italian lighting design. As a teenager, Sarfatti switched his field of study from classics to aeronautical engineering, later incorporating the scientific precision he learned from his engineering background into crafting his light fixtures. He opened his lighting atelier Lumen in 1935, which quickly gained popularity as a new voice in the field of lighting. Lumen advertised in the influential Italian design magazine Domus, and Sarfatti opened a showroom in the Via Verdi. However, in 1938, Sarfatti left Lumen and went on to found the firm Arteluce along with his wife Jolanda Marazza Sarfatti and architects Maurizio Bolchini and Franco Buzzi.
In 1940, Arteluce participated in the VII Triennale in Milan. Due to the bombings during World War II, Sarfatti moved the production of Arteluce from Milan to Albavilla. However, soon after moving production, he was forced into exile in Switzerland after facing persecution for his Jewish heritage. Following the end of WWII he gained recognition for his extraordinary work, returning to Italy and continuing his leadership of Arteluce. His lighting was showcased in the groundbreaking exhibit Italy at Work at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1950, which featured the work of 150 Italian designers and craftsmen.