Modern Expressions at Artistica Barovier

Composed of spiraling canes and stylized murrine leaf forms, this Artistica Barovier vase could be seen as an abstract representation of leaves caught in wind. While the spherical shape is typical of Ercole Barovier’s work during the mid-1920s, the use of canes in this piece may be unique. It is interesting to note that Ercole signed many of the Mosaico vases produced during this period, including this example, which was not standard practice. 

While the spherical shape is typical of Barovier’s work, the use of canes in this piece may be unique.

As principal Art Director of Barovier for nearly five decades, Ercole was continually seeking new forms of expression. In the Mosaico vases of the 1920s he achieved a uniquely modern sensibility through the use of expressionist colors, naturalistic forms and geometric patterning.

Throughout his long career Ercole would return again and again to the Mosaico vases of the 1920s for inspiration. Famous post-war series such as Sidone, Parabolici and Intarsio, to name a few, can be seen as direct aesthetic descendants of Ercole’s mosaics. Likewise, the use of spiraling canes in this vase may have inspired later series such as Striato (1954).

Ercole Barovier

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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Auction Results Ercole Barovier