Artist & Designer: Ercole Barovier

Wright holds the auction record for Ercole Barovier whose body of work is striking for its staggering diversity, creative daring and technical complexity. His nearly fifty year tenure as the artistic director, designer and owner of Barovier & Toso is unprecedented in the history of Murano glass.
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Interesting Facts of Note

At age 30, Barovier became a partner in his father Bevenuto’s company, Vetreria Artistica Barovier & C.

Established in 1936, he held the artistic director position at Barovier & Toso for nearly 50 years. In 1972, he was succeeded by his son Angelo who still directs the company today.

An inventive and experimental designer, in the 1920s Barovier created a series of animals in the Art Deco style that Gio Ponti later named, "Ballet of the Wild Beasts" which were met with great success and were widely copied.

Ercole Barovier, Tiger, 1929

Ercole Barovier is now considered one of the most charismatic figures in the history of Murano glass and one of the leading lights in the revival of the island's glass industry in the first few decades of the twentieth century...(his) enormous contribution to traditional Murano glass, in terms of knowledge, style and new techniques, is still felt today in the continuing development of glassmaking on the island.

Marsilio Editori

Modern Expressions at Artisti Barovier

Ercole Barovier 1889–1974

The nearly fifty year tenure of Ercole Barovier as artistic director, designer and owner of Barovier & Toso is unprecedented in the history of Murano glass, and the firm’s success stands as a testament to his singular artistic talent and entrepreneurial genius.

Born in 1889 to a Muranese family that could trace its origins back to the 13th century, Barovier did not train as a glassblower but had a great passion for glass and quickly distinguished himself as an innovative designer. He joined Artisti Barovier in 1919 at the age of thirty and found success designing vases in the mosaic technique. In 1930 he produced the critically acclaimed and award-winning Primavera series, the success of which encouraged him to continue his experiments.

Throughout the 1930s and 1940s Barovier’s dedication to the technical mastery of experimental glass brought him international fame. His thick-walled vessels decorated with un-melted pigments, highly textured surfaces, raw metallic inclusions and expressive hot-work applications helped to create a new aesthetic vocabulary for Murano glass in the first half of the 20th century.

During the post-war period, Barovier’s prescient experimentation continued. Exploring the vast potential of glass tesserae arranged in geometric patterns, he re-invented mosaic glass and used it to express the renewed artistic vigor of post-war Italy.

By the time of his retirement in 1972 Ercole Barovier had designed thousands of models for his company. While many of these were never produced, the body of work that was created is staggering in its diversity, creative daring and technical complexity.

Auction Results Ercole Barovier

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