Vetro Mosaico

Technical Virtuoisity in Glass

By the mid 1920s, Ercole Barovier had become both artistic director and principal designer at Artistica Barovier, and among his first designs were vases executed in blown mosaic glass. While Ercole’s vessels employed the vetro mosiaco technique first developed and popularized by his uncle Guiseppe Barovier, Ercole’s designs were far more radical and modern. Executed in vivid colors and often reducing plant and flower forms to near expressionist patterns, these vases are considered masterpieces of early modernist design. Made in extremely limited numbers, these works are exceedingly rare. Less than five examples of this particular model are known to exist, and each is a unique variant. Today all the mosaic vases created at Artistica Barovier during the 1920s are highly valued due to their rarity, beauty, technical virtuosity and historical significance.

A similar example featured in the Baroiver retrospective at the XXVI Biennale Internazionale d'Arte, Venice, 1952. (Photograph reproduced from Ercole Barovier 1888-1974: Vetraio Muranese by Attilia Dorigato, 1989, Marsilio Editori)


Ercole Barovier 1889-1972

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, Ercole 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 30 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 Ercole’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, Ercole’s prescient experimentation continued. Exploring the vast potential of glass tessere arranged in geometric patterns, Ercole 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. And while many of these were never produced, the body of work that was created is staggering in its diversity, creative daring and technical complexity.

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.

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Upcoming Lots Ercole Barovier

Auction Results Ercole Barovier

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Murrine vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Murrine vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $317,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Important Primavera vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Important Primavera vase
estimate: $250,000–350,000
result: $293,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Important Mosaico vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Important Mosaico vase
estimate: $150,000–200,000
result: $257,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Vaso Mosaico | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Vaso Mosaico
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $245,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Vaso mosaico | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Vaso mosaico
estimate: $25,000–35,000
result: $149,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, monumental Rostrati vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

monumental Rostrati vase
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $100,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Vetro Mosaico vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Vetro Mosaico vase
estimate: $70,000–90,000
result: $93,750

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Rare Intarsio vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Rare Intarsio vase
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $87,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Laguna Gemmata vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Laguna Gemmata vase
estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $81,250

ERCOLE BAROVIER, monumental Intarsio vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

monumental Intarsio vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $75,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, prototype Tessere vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

prototype Tessere vase
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $69,850

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Intarsio vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Intarsio vase
estimate: $8,000–10,000
result: $65,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Intarsio vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Intarsio vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $62,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Vetro Mosaico vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Vetro Mosaico vase
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $55,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Rare Intarsio vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Rare Intarsio vase
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $55,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Intarsio vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Intarsio vase
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $52,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, monumental Spuma di Mare vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

monumental Spuma di Mare vase
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $50,800

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Intarsio vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Intarsio vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $50,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, A Lenti vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

A Lenti vase
estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $50,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, A Lenti vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

A Lenti vase
estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $47,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, A Lenti vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

A Lenti vase
estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $47,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Medusa vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Medusa vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $46,250

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Unique and Important Tessere vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Unique and Important Tessere vase
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $45,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Rare Egeo vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Rare Egeo vase
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $45,000

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