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Carlo Scarpa

1906–1978

### Carlos Scarpa is one of the most innovative architects of the 20th century. His genius is in his ability to combine time-honored techniques and forms with his modern sensibility to create sophisticated architecture and furniture as well as masterworks in glass. Scarpa’s glass work routinely features prominently in our Important Italian Glass auctions and since our founding, Scarpa has brought in nearly $2 million in sales.

**The Sophisticated Glass of Carlo Scarpa**

Carlo Scarpa’s designs are a tour-de-force of experimental art glass. Seamlessly integrating essential forms from classical antiquity and ancient Chinese art with traditional Murano craftsmanship and modernist art conventions, Scarpa created a diverse body of work with lasting influence. For more than 20 years, starting first at MVM Cappellin before enjoying a long tenure with Venini, Scarpa expanded the boundaries of Venetian glassblowing; he pioneered several techniques including the distinctive Bollicine, which refers to tiny bubbles trapped in the glass creating a delicate opacity of light and color and mezza filigrana which is a thin glass decorated with internal swirling lines and applied bold colors, both transparent and opaque, to traditional forms; he explored texture and surface with his Battuto series, dappled forms expertly carved to mimic the surface of beaten metal, becoming one of the hallmarks of Scarpa's designs. All in all, Scarpa’s influence modernized the vernacular of Murano glass.

**Carlo Scarpa: Architecture and Japan**

Throughout his life, Carlo Scarpa would draw on his deep love of Japanese culture and tradition to design architecture. His work reflects the influence of the understated minimalism of Japan, known as *shibui*, which is the concept of an elegant, yet restrained aesthetic marked by high-quality workmanship and materials. Scarpa was known for paying as much attention to the minute elements of his buildings as he did to the overall design, and he was known to use meticulously hand-crafted screws and hinges in his architecture. Mixing the local design of his native Venice with the organic materials and graceful lines of Japanese buildings, Scarpa’s work reflects a harmony between the two cultures. Scarpa died in Japan in 1978 after a fatal fall down a set of stairs. However, Scarpa’s love of Japan lives on in his architectural masterpieces like the Brion Cemetery and his renovation of the Castelvecchio Museum in Verona, Italy.

...above all, he was exceptionally skillful in knowing how to combine a base material with a precious one.

Egle Trincanato, President of the Fondazione Querini Stamplalia, for whom Scarpa renovated a Venetian palace

**Additional Resources**

Carlo Scarpa Digital Archive

Italy's Lost Modernist Master

This Brutalist Architect First Designed in Delicate Glass

Artsy Carlo Scarpa

Venetian Glass by Carlo Scarpa Exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

**Carlo Scarpa**
1906–1978

Carlo Scarpa was born in Venice in 1906, and died an accidental death in Japan in 1978. Like many great artists, Scarpa’s work as architect and designer is highly influential and yet remains enigmatic, illusive and hard to categorize. What is obvious in all his work is an underlying transcendental quality, an uncanny ability to create powerful emotional states in all who experience it. It is perhaps this quality that makes him one of the most beloved and revered figures in the history of 20th century Italian art and design.

Scarpa’s various biographers often point to his sensitivity to materials and his ability to evoke the past, but nothing about Scarpa is easy to define. In 1919 he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Venice and graduated in 1926 with the title of Professor of Architecture. He did not, however, sit the pro forma exam required by the Italian government, and hence was never fully licensed as an architect.

A master of blending ancient and modern materials, forms and sensibilities, Scarpa completed over sixty architectural projects for museums in his lifetime. His agile use of precious, humble and industrial materials in order to elegantly frame historical fragments and artifacts is perhaps his greatest architectural achievement. His devotion to restoration and preservation also seem to suggest a belief that the true vocation of any architect is to quietly re-frame history, to convey a sense of both past and present, uniting them in full knowledge that the future is unwritten.

Scarpa’s work as a glass designer is equally poetic and ambitious. Working for both MVM Cappellin and Venini he produced hundreds of models, all of which are now considered masterworks. Drawing inspiration from ancient Chinese and Japanese vessels, Scarpa was able to express the best aspects of Murano glass craftsmanship in reduced modernist forms. Even the titles of his series hint at the elemental power of his work: *Bollicine, Transparente, Granulare, Iridato, Inciso, Batutto, Vellato, Fasce, Pennellate* (Bubbly, Transparent, Grainy, Iridized, Incised, Beaten, Veiled, Banded, Brushstrokes).

Carlo Scarpa’s death itself was poetic. He died from injuries after falling down a flight of concrete steps that he himself had designed in Sendai, Japan. However his death was not immediate—he lived for ten days. While unable to speak, it is said that he could write, but only backwards, and that he spent his last days creating tiny illustrated books for his friends. In the end he was buried in the standing position, wrapped in white muslin, in a quiet corner of the Brion-Vega Cemetery in San Vito d’Altivole, widely considered to be his ultimate architectural masterpiece.

Auction Results **Carlo Scarpa**

### Carlo Scarpa

Rare Inciso Velato vase, model 3791

estimate: $30,000–50,000

result: $92,500

### Carlo Scarpa

Rilievi vase, model 3659

estimate: $30,000–40,000

result: $81,700

### Carlo Scarpa

Rare Inciso vase, model 3941

estimate: $60,000–80,000

result: $77,500

### Carlo Scarpa

Transparenti vase, model 5673

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $75,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Pennellate vase

estimate: $20,000–30,000

result: $74,500

### Carlo Scarpa

Rare Pennellate vase, model 3788

estimate: $50,000–70,000

result: $70,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Lattimo Oro vase

estimate: $20,000–30,000

result: $62,500

### Carlo Scarpa

A Fili vase, model 4540

estimate: $50,000–70,000

result: $58,750

### Carlo Scarpa

A Fasce Verticale vase

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $52,500

### Carlo Scarpa

Important A Murrine Opache plate

estimate: $40,000–60,000

result: $52,500

### Carlo Scarpa

Important Sommerso a Bollicine vase, model 3527

estimate: $30,000–50,000

result: $50,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Rare Pasta Vitrea vase

estimate: $40,000–60,000

result: $50,000

### Carlo Scarpa

A Fili vase

estimate: $20,000–30,000

result: $41,250

### Carlo Scarpa

Bollicine vase, model 11016

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $40,960

### Carlo Scarpa

A Bugne vase

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $40,640

### Carlo Scarpa

Battuto floor lamp

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $39,600

### Carlo Scarpa

Battuto vase, model 3908

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $35,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Cinese/Iridato vase, model 3932

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $33,750

### Carlo Scarpa

Rare A Fiori Murrine vase, model 5943

estimate: $30,000–50,000

result: $32,500

### Carlo Scarpa

Battuto vase, model 3781

estimate: $20,000–30,000

result: $32,500

### Carlo Scarpa

A Bugne vase

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $32,500

### Carlo Scarpa

Important Millefiori bowl, model 6002

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $30,000

### Carlo Scarpa

A Bugne vase

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $30,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Reticello chandelier, model 5417

estimate: $20,000–30,000

result: $30,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Battuto vase, model 3781

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $30,000

### Carlo Scarpa

A Bugne vase

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $27,940

### Carlo Scarpa

Battuto vase

estimate: $20,000–30,000

result: $27,500

### Carlo Scarpa

Battuto vase

estimate: $20,000–30,000

result: $27,500

### Carlo Scarpa

Incamiciato vase

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $25,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Rare Fenicio vase, model 5783

estimate: $20,000–30,000

result: $25,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Decoro Fenicio vase, model 6446

estimate: $20,000–30,000

result: $23,750

### Carlo Scarpa

Bollicine lamp base, model 11001

estimate: $6,000–8,000

result: $23,750

### Carlo Scarpa

Corrosi vase

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $22,800

### Carlo Scarpa

chandelier, model 5283

estimate: $20,000–30,000

result: $22,500

### Carlo Scarpa

Incamiciato vase

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $22,500

### Carlo Scarpa

Rare and Important vase

estimate: $20,000–30,000

result: $21,250

### Carlo Scarpa

Sommerso a Bollicine vase, model 3526

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $21,250

### Carlo Scarpa

Transparenti vase

estimate: $7,000–9,000

result: $20,480

### Carlo Scarpa

Tessuto vase, model 3900

estimate: $20,000–30,000

result: $20,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Battuto vase, model 3909

estimate: $8,000–10,000

result: $18,750

### Carlo Scarpa

Fenicio vase, model 5924

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $18,750

### Carlo Scarpa

A Murrine plate

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $18,750

### Carlo Scarpa

chandelier, model 5417

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $18,750

### Carlo Scarpa

Rigadin Retorto, model #9034, pair

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $18,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Bollicine floor lamp

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $18,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Mezza Filigrana vase, model 1886

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $17,500

### Carlo Scarpa

sconces model 425, pair

estimate: $7,000–9,000

result: $17,500

### Carlo Scarpa

A Bugne vase

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $17,500

### Carlo Scarpa

Important Millefiori bowl

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $16,510

### Carlo Scarpa

mirror

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $15,600

### Carlo Scarpa

perfume bottles model 651A, pair

estimate: $4,000–6,000

result: $15,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Mezza Filigrana chandelier, model 5417

estimate: $5,000–7,000

result: $15,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Sommerso a Bollicine vase

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $14,400

### Carlo Scarpa

Tessuto vase

estimate: $8,000–10,000

result: $14,400

### Carlo Scarpa

chandelier, model 53223 A6

estimate: $20,000–30,000

result: $13,750

### Carlo Scarpa

A Bugne vase, model 4116

estimate: $15,000–20,000

result: $13,750

### Carlo Scarpa

Tagliato Tondo vase

estimate: $7,000–9,000

result: $13,750

### Carlo Scarpa

Battuto vase, model 3943A

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $12,500

### Carlo Scarpa

Bollicine vase, model 3540

estimate: $5,000–7,000

result: $12,500

### Carlo Scarpa

A Bugne vase

estimate: $9,000–12,000

result: $12,065

### Carlo Scarpa

A Bugne vase

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $12,065

### Carlo Scarpa

Battuto vase

estimate: $8,000–10,000

result: $11,250

### Carlo Scarpa

Battuto bowl, model 2938

estimate: $3,000–5,000

result: $11,250

### Carlo Scarpa

Iridato vase, model 3781

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $11,250

### Carlo Scarpa

sconce

estimate: $3,000–5,000

result: $10,625

### Carlo Scarpa

Cinesi vase, model 3578

estimate: $8,000–10,000

result: $10,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Inciso vase

estimate: $5,000–7,000

result: $10,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Fenici vase

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $10,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Fenici vase

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $10,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Transparenti vase

estimate: $3,000–5,000

result: $9,375

### Carlo Scarpa

sconce

estimate: $3,000–5,000

result: $9,375

### Carlo Scarpa

A Spirale vase, model 3507

estimate: $5,000–7,000

result: $9,375

### Carlo Scarpa

dining chairs, set of four

estimate: $3,000–5,000

result: $9,000

### Carlo Scarpa

Mezza Filigrana vase, model 1593A

estimate: $7,000–9,000

result: $8,750

### Carlo Scarpa

A Fasce Verticale vase

estimate: $7,000–9,000

result: $8,750

### Carlo Scarpa

A Fasce Verticale vase

estimate: $7,000–9,000

result: $8,750

### Carlo Scarpa

A Fasce Verticale vase

estimate: $7,000–9,000

result: $8,750

### Carlo Scarpa

Battutto vase, model 3595

estimate: $5,000–7,000

result: $8,750

### Carlo Scarpa

Bollicine vase, model 11011

estimate: $7,000–9,000

result: $8,288

### Carlo Scarpa

Reticello bowl

estimate: $4,000–6,000

result: $8,125

### Carlo Scarpa

Bollicine vase, model 3540

estimate: $8,000–10,000

result: $8,125

### Carlo Scarpa

Conchiglie Variegato

estimate: $8,000–12,000

result: $8,050

### Carlo Scarpa

Tessuto vase

estimate: $5,000–7,000

result: $7,800

### Carlo Scarpa

sconces, pair

estimate: $7,000–9,000

result: $7,500

### Carlo Scarpa

Reticello chandelier

estimate: $10,000–15,000

result: $6,875

### Carlo Scarpa

Bollicine bowl, model 4118

estimate: $2,000–3,000

result: $6,875

### Carlo Scarpa

Mezza Filigrana vase, model 3516

estimate: $6,000–8,000

result: $6,875

### Carlo Scarpa

large Corroso bowl, model 4102

estimate: $7,000–9,000

result: $6,875

### Carlo Scarpa

Sommerso a Bollicine bowl, model 3522

estimate: $6,000–8,000

result: $6,875

### Carlo Scarpa

Tessuto vase, model 3917

estimate: $5,000–7,000

result: $6,250

### Carlo Scarpa

Mezza Filigrana vase, model 3578

estimate: $5,000–7,000

result: $6,250

### Carlo Scarpa

Sommerso a Bollicine bowl, model 3522

estimate: $6,000–8,000

result: $6,250

### Carlo Scarpa

Corroso vase, model 1405

estimate: $5,000–7,000

result: $6,250

### Carlo Scarpa

sconces model 482, pair

estimate: $5,000–7,000

result: $6,250

### Carlo Scarpa

Tessuto vase

estimate: $8,000–12,000

result: $6,250

### Carlo Scarpa

Rare Bollicine vase, model 11009

estimate: $5,000–7,000

result: $5,938

### Carlo Scarpa

pitcher

estimate: $3,000–4,000

result: $5,700

### Carlo Scarpa

Pasta Vitrea vase

estimate: $5,000–7,000

result: $5,625

### Carlo Scarpa

Tessuto vase

estimate: $5,000–7,000

result: $5,625

### Carlo Scarpa

Doge dining table

estimate: $2,000–3,000

result: $5,625

If the architecture is good, whoever listens to it and looks at it feels its benefits without realizing it. The environment educates in a critical way.

Carlo Scarpa