ElefanteFerro Toso Barovier
Italy, c. 1936
glass with silver leaf
3¾ w x 1¾ d x 3¾ h in (10 x 4 x 10 cm)
Signed with applied manufacturer's label: [Ars FTB Murano].
Since the Middle Ages Muranese blowers have created lively animal forms in glass. Sometimes whimsical, sometimes beastly, these animals have become famous worldwide.
In 20th century Murano glass we see a wide variety of animals. Some are amazingly expressive and executed with great mastery, others with none at all.
Beginning in the 1920s, two of Murano’s most famous glass designers, Napoleone Martinuzzi and Ercole Barovier began to create animals of great quality—charming, funny, grotesque, naturalistic, cartoon-like, whimsical and beastly—their animal creations are truly expressive works of art executed in glass.
In the Primavera Collection we see animals by both Martinuzzi and Barovier, and their technical execution is of the highest quality. But we see more—all the animals in this collection have been rendered in tones of clear and white, sometimes accentuated by gold or silver leaf, and taken together we can see how this reduced modernist palette intensifies the personality of each animal.