Elio Martinelli (1922-2004) is an Italian designer and entrepreneur, founder of the Martinelli Luce brand. Originally from Lucca, the city in which he carried out his activity all his life, Elio Martinelli was self-taught: his training was in fact mainly aimed at the world of art and culminated in 1947 in a degree in scenography at the Academy of Fine Arts from Florence. A few years later he had to take the reins of the family lighting shop, succeeding his father who died prematurely. However, his creative soul pushed him to combine this activity with the creations of lamps made directly by him, which initially came to life in a small basement in the center of Lucca. Martinelli Luce reached its full development in the 1960s when, through important investments, it was one of the first Italian companies to experiment with the use of plastic materials for the production of lamps, giving life to models that are still iconic such as Serpente (1965) and Cobra (1968), both signed by Elio Martinelli himself. Participation in the Eurodomus exhibition in Genoa in 1966, sponsored by Gio Ponti, finally gave the company national notoriety which would also allow it to work with other important architects and designers, among which Gae Aulenti stands out who would entrust Martinelli Luce with the production of series of his Pipistrello lamp, which has become one of the most famous of all time. Elio Martinelli will continue to design lamps throughout his life, supported starting from the 90s by his daughter Emiliana who will then end up replacing him at the helm of the brand in the last years, marked by his illness.