This tall and elegant two handled amphora was made at Vetreria Artistica Barovier in about 1920 and was most likely crafted by Giuseppe Barovier, widely considered the greatest glassblower of the late 19th and early 20th century. The shape of this vessel reveals his knowledge of classical antiquity; in fact it was Giuseppe Barovier whose work best captured the spirit of historicism in the last half of 19th century. In his late work we see an easy transition from the high Victorian desire to copy and equal the ancients, to the new reductive materialism of the young 20th century. For this reason, these vases are of great historical importance as they form a bridge between weighty historic and artistic concepts—the vivid colors presented on a stark black field are visually arresting and modern in appearance. Even today these vessels seem to evoke an unlikely impression of both flowers and viscera. Truly a masterwork, this vase expresses ancient, Victorian, modern, and even post-modern sensibilities.

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

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