Technical Innovation

Giulio Radi at A.V.E.M.

Acquired sometime between 1948 and 1950 by the parents of the present owner, this vase is documented in a period photograph from the Venice Biennale of 1948 and is perhaps the only example in existence. As part of a group of objects which established Giulio Radi as a leading designer in post war Murano glass, this vase is truly rare and important.

The present lot illustrated in a period photo from the XXIV Biennale, 1948, Venice

To say that Radi’s work at A.V.E.M. was innovative is an understatement. His experimentation with Zanfirico canes, murrines, gold and silver leaf inclusions submerged in thick layers of glass, stood at the edge of a sea change in the design sensibility of Murano glass, a trend that companies like Barovier & Toso and Seguso Vetri d’Arte would follow. In fact, the 1940s represented a kind of design free-for-all in which the aesthetic standards for post-war Murano glass were established. 

Radi’s most famous series, Reazione Polichrome, was at the cutting edge of the new and vibrant post-war style. Created in 1950, Reazione Polichrome can be understood as both a stylistic breakthrough and a descendant of the Zanfirico vase presented here. Through the use of complex chemistry and innovative procedures, Radi was able to repurpose age-old Murano techniques and present them to the world in a fresh new way.