FMR and Designboom


When Franco Maria Ricci – a publisher, designer, art collector, and bibliophile – spoke to Designboom in 2001, he pondered on the climate of art landscape during his era. He described it as terrible and noted the absence of a good art magazine. ‘All of the magazines were filled with news, gossip, faces, and small photos,he told us. He was, and still is, right. As the world of advertising dominates the pages of magazines, stories to digest and images to savor are tough to find, hindered by chunky typographies and lazy write-ups. From this observation, Ricci founded FMR – 20 years in 2001 – driven by his ethos of creating a good art magazine.


Yet his magazine is not just a ‘good‘ one as he desired. It is a standard in its industry, a repertoire of well-rounded literary excerpts and essays that usher it as ‘the most widely circulated fine art magazine in the world‘, the publishing house claims. Ricci wanted to show art from a perspective of beauty and worth, not through the modern eyes where, at times, the creations become the laughingstock of the public’s mouth drawn from their bizarreness. As a response to this manifesto, the rebirth of FMR magazine unfolded, preserving the original graphic and artistic approach that Ricci embedded in its pages.

the rebirth of art: FMR magazine of franco maria ricci has returned
images courtesy of FMR magazine and Maria Chiara Salvanelli press



Preserving and sustaining the tradition


FMR’s new editorial staff comprises Laura Casalis as its editorial and artistic director, Edoardo Pepino as its editor, and a pétit committee of advisors composed of Giorgio Antei, Massimo Listri, Giovanni Mariotti, Gabriele Reina and Stefano Salis. Based on the testament of the new FMR, it will continue not to teach art history, but desires for its readers to love art by ‘illuminating their tastes and enhancing their gift of sight.


As the editorial team believes,A complete etiquette of proper graphic presentation, a verdant garden of new knowledge and curiosity, an elevated typographic elegance, and heavy, fine paper will make each issue something unique, an object of pride for any collector.’ The quarterly publication centers on a theme each season and traverses the boundaries of art, architecture, and design as part of its creed to pique the imagination and the mind through visual adventures and textual discoveries.


To retain the magazine’s decades of tradition, in-depth writing and analysis pepper the pages through the pieces written by great writers and scholars of their respective fields such as Héctor Abad Faciolince, Pietro Citati, Orhan Pamuk, Christian Beaufort-Spontin, Jean Blanchaert, Gian Carlo Calza, David Ekserdjian, Sylvia Ferino, Caterina Napoleone, Pierre Rosenberg, Vittorio Sgarbi, Edward Sullivan, Óscar Tusquets Blanca, to name a few.


The brief statement of the publication restates what it envisions to sustain. ‘From the Etruscan canopies to the glasses of Elton John, from the bas-reliefs of the ara pacis to the metaphysical mattresses of Domenico Gnoli, passing naturally through the most varied wonders of the renaissance and the baroque, of Christian Europe and the east and west indies, the FMR repertoire captures the ageless splendor of beautiful perishing things,a paragraph on its website reads.

the rebirth of art: FMR magazine of franco maria ricci has returned
the rebirth of art: FMR magazine of franco maria ricci has returned



The world of beauty


The warm welcome and acclaim to the first two FMR issues paved a way for French and Spanish editions and gained traction that speaks of the magazine’s continuity. When Ricci left the magazine behind in the early 2000s and after 163 issues and selling the brand of FMR, he ventured to build Labirinto della Masone, the world’s largest labyrinth.


Perhaps he knew all along that he would return to where he came from, to the roots of his philosophy, as in the last years of his life, he nurtured the thought of restarting the publication. Only in December 2020, three months after he passed away at the age of 82, that his and the magazine’s return materialized as his publishing house reacquired the FMR brand.


When Ricci spoke to Designboom, the flames of his passion for art oozed, needing no vocabulary to re-describe what he planned to do and had done. ‘I do not want to teach art history. I want people to become accustomed to seeing the beauty of art. I wanted my magazine to become a sort of school to show that the world is full of beautiful things,he told us. Now that the new FMR is up and running, the world will see again what Franco Maria Ricci meant.

the rebirth of art: FMR magazine of franco maria ricci has returned
FMR was founded in 1982

the rebirth of art: FMR magazine of franco maria ricci has returned
the first issue coincided with the winter solstice in 2021

the rebirth of art: FMR magazine of franco maria ricci has returned
the ‘zero’ issue reintroduces the magazine and marks its comeback



project info:


name: FMR Magazine

founder: Franco Maria Ricci

editorial team: Laura Casalis, Edoardo Pepino, Giorgio Antei, Massimo Listri, Giovanni Mariotti, Gabriele Reina, and Stefano Salis

type: quarterly publication