A Union of Iron and Glass

Umberto Bellotto and Vetreria Artistica Barovier

This Connubio Ferro e Vetro, or union of iron and glass, represents the collaboration of two Venetian masters—Umberto Bellotto and Artistica Barovier—coming together at the height of their artistic powers and influence. The end result is this stunning work, an elegant expression of late Art Nouveau style.

Interestingly, when these Connubio Ferro e Vetro pieces were first presented they were eyed suspiciously by Italian critics who believed that the two materials were incompatible. However, their opinions quickly changed and the critics began describing these pieces as “the blessed union of glass and iron”.

By the 1920s Bellotto was fabricating elegant stands designed to elevate and support refined glass objects, examples of which are rarely seen today. In the present lot we see a Mosaico bowl executed in vibrant colors perched atop a complex and elegant wrought iron stand. The overall impression is of a vessel composed of leaves, flowers and vines offered up to the sky. 

Vetreria Artistica Barovier

Over its long history the Barovier company has had many names and incarnations; it began in 1878 as Fratelli Barovier, changing shortly thereafter to Artisti Barovier, and then becoming Artistica Barovier immediately after the war, in 1919. During this early period the Barovier brothers, Benvenuto and Giuseppe, were at the forefront of an artistic revival of Venetian glass which sought to recapture the technical and artistic glory of the past, while creating radically new designs and techniques. This culminated in a series of murrine vessels of exceptional beauty and technical virtuosity. 

Along with the murine vessels, a wide range of other exquisite works were designed during this period, many of which derived their shapes from classical antiquity but were executed in vibrant colors and experimental materials. Collaboration with other notable Venetian firms and designers also took place in the 1920s including a series of important murrine vessels and bowls presented on elegant wrought iron stands in the Byzantine and Art Nouveau styles by artist and master iron worker Umberto Bellotto.

Lots 36-39 are exquisite examples of the high level of innovation and  craftsmanship taking place at Artistica Barovier between 1920 and 1930.

Additional Works by Vetreria Artistica Barovier

JEDD GARET, Stump, Center Structure and Lush Life (three works) | wright20.com

127

Jedd Garet

Stump, Center Structure and Lush Life (three works)
estimate: $200–300

SANDRO CHIA, Mechanical Figure I and II (two works) | wright20.com

131

Sandro Chia

Mechanical Figure I and II (two works)
estimate: $600–800

LAURIE ANDERSON, Mt. Daly/US IV | wright20.com

134

Laurie Anderson

Mt. Daly/US IV
estimate: $300–500
result: $875

JULES OLITSKI, Graphic Suite II (Orange/Ochre with Pink and Green) | wright20.com

144

Jules Olitski

Graphic Suite II (Orange/Ochre with Pink and Green)
estimate: $700–900
result: $875

RONALD DAVIS, Triangle Slice | wright20.com

145

Ronald Davis

Triangle Slice
estimate: $500–700

JEDD GARET, Nice Sky and Blood (two works) | wright20.com

147

Jedd Garet

Nice Sky and Blood (two works)
estimate: $500–700
result: $313

MIMMO PALADINO, Caverne Minacchoise | wright20.com

148

Mimmo Paladino

Caverne Minacchoise
estimate: $500–700

RICHARD BOSMAN, Double Trouble | wright20.com

159

Richard Bosman

Double Trouble
estimate: $400–600

HERBERT BAYER, Untitled | wright20.com

160

Herbert Bayer

Untitled
estimate: $300–500
result: $938

RICHARD BOSMAN, Adversaries | wright20.com

163

Richard Bosman

Adversaries
estimate: $500–700
result: $1,063

ERNEST TROVA, Untitled (from Shadows, Planes and Targets portfolio) | wright20.com

170

Ernest Trova

Untitled (from Shadows, Planes and Targets portfolio)
estimate: $500–700

HERBERT BAYER, Celestial River | wright20.com

171

Herbert Bayer

Celestial River
estimate: $500–700
result: $512

RONALD DAVIS, Rotation Tilt | wright20.com

191

Ronald Davis

Rotation Tilt
estimate: $600–800
result: $813

ROBERT INDIANA, The American Four | wright20.com

225

Robert Indiana

The American Four
estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $2,048

NICHOLAS KRUSHENICK, Untitled (from the R3-67 series) | wright20.com

226

Nicholas Krushenick

Untitled (from the R3-67 series)
estimate: $600–800
result: $768

ARNALDO POMODORO, Untitled | wright20.com

227

Arnaldo Pomodoro

Untitled
estimate: $300–500
result: $406

MAX BILL, Plate IX, from 11 x 4:4 | wright20.com

228

Max Bill

Plate IX, from 11 x 4:4
estimate: $300–500
result: $1,125

ROBERT KUSHNER, Pomegranates and Lilies, Eve, Climbing Roses and Flowered Mat (from the Joy of Ornament series) | wright20.com

236

Robert Kushner

Pomegranates and Lilies, Eve, Climbing Roses and Flowered Mat (from the Joy of Ornament series)
estimate: $600–800
result: $625

LOUISA CHASE, Chasm | wright20.com

240

Louisa Chase

Chasm
estimate: $500–700
result: $468

LEONARD  KOSCIANSKI, Fire-Eaters | wright20.com

241

Leonard Koscianski

Fire-Eaters
estimate: $100–200
result: $250

VETRERIA ARTISTICA BAROVIER, Vetro Mosaico vase | wright20.com

36

Vetreria Artistica Barovier

Vetro Mosaico vase
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $43,750

VETRERIA ARTISTICA BAROVIER AND UMBERTO BELLOTTO, Coppa su stelo | wright20.com

37

Vetreria Artistica Barovier and Umberto Bellotto

Coppa su stelo
estimate: $70,000–90,000
result: $112,500

VETRERIA ARTISTICA BAROVIER, Monumental a Murrine Floreali vase | wright20.com

38

Vetreria Artistica Barovier

Monumental a Murrine Floreali vase
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $32,500

VETRERIA ARTISTICA BAROVIER, Soffiato vase | wright20.com

39

Vetreria Artistica Barovier

Soffiato vase
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $32,500

VETRERIA ARTISTICA BAROVIER, Vetro Mosaico vase | wright20.com

36

Vetreria Artistica Barovier

Vetro Mosaico vase
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $43,750

VETRERIA ARTISTICA BAROVIER AND UMBERTO BELLOTTO, Coppa su stelo | wright20.com

37

Vetreria Artistica Barovier and Umberto Bellotto

Coppa su stelo
estimate: $70,000–90,000
result: $112,500

VETRERIA ARTISTICA BAROVIER, Monumental a Murrine Floreali vase | wright20.com

38

Vetreria Artistica Barovier

Monumental a Murrine Floreali vase
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $32,500

VETRERIA ARTISTICA BAROVIER, Soffiato vase | wright20.com

39

Vetreria Artistica Barovier

Soffiato vase
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $32,500

Vetreria Artistica Barovier and Umberto Bellotto

Born in Venice in 1882, Umberto Bellotto was the son of a blacksmith. By 1903 he had already distinguished himself as a master ironworker, creating the celebrated railings for the café/restaurant at the Venice Biennale. In the 1910’s he made a name for himself collaborating with other craft workshops to produce furniture, fabrics, leather, glass and other objects for fine interiors. By 1914, Bellotto’s rising fame as a master craftsman and designer was beginning to reach its zenith when he opened his own gallery and presented hand-crafted wrought objects which clearly existed in the realm of fine art. In 1920 he participated in the Venice Biennale, exhibiting original works combining iron with leather, glass and ceramic. Between 1925 and 1927 he designed imaginative works of glass composed of geometric and industrial shapes highlighted by dark contrasting details—a stylistic innovation that become a permanent convention in the Murano glass oeuvre. In 1928 he was called to Rome by the minister of public works and was assigned to major architectural projects. He died in Venice in 1940.

Today with a knowledgeable guide, it is possible to encounter signs, lanterns, chandeliers, door handles, mounts, hinges, and even entire staircases executed by Bellotto, hidden in plain sight throughout Venice and the Veneto.