Ercole Barovier

A Legacy of Glass Design

Ercole Barovier is a unique figure in the history of 20th century Murano glass. As owner and principal art director of the Barovier firm, he personally designed every significant glass object produced there from the late 1920s until his retirement in 1972.  

This rare ability to deftly combine references from nature, history and contemporary art stands as testament to the flexible genius of Ercole Barovier and his long and successful career as a designer.

Beginning in 1933, Barovier designed a number of thick-walled vessels with unmelted pigment dispersed in clear glass as decoration. As the decade progressed he continued to design vessels composed of thick, clear glass embellished with expressive hot-work applications. These works had soft organic forms inspired by sea life and the ever-changing effect of light on water. The A Mugnoni, Medusa and Lenti series all possess this naturalist aesthetic, combined with the feeling of monumental sculpture associated with the late Italian Novecento style. 

In the 1950s Ercole’s interest in ancient glass and primitive objects became apparent in the series Barbarico, Aborigeni and Neolitici. During this period, Barovier also made poetic reference to design motifs from classical antiquity through the use of tightly controlled geometric patterning resulting in the series Moreschi, Dorico, and Argo. The Intarsio series was composed of clear and brightly colored glass tesserae and shows the influence of Op-Art. This rare ability to deftly combine references from nature, history and contemporary art stands as testament to the flexible genius of Ercole Barovier and his long and successful career as a designer.

Ercole Barovier 1889–1974

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

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Murrine vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Murrine vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $317,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Important Primavera vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Important Primavera vase
estimate: $250,000–350,000
result: $293,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Important Mosaico vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Important Mosaico vase
estimate: $150,000–200,000
result: $257,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Vaso Mosaico | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Vaso Mosaico
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $245,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Vaso mosaico | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Vaso mosaico
estimate: $25,000–35,000
result: $149,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Mosaico vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Mosaico vase
estimate: $100,000–150,000
result: $102,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, monumental Rostrati vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

monumental Rostrati vase
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $100,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Vetro Mosaico vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Vetro Mosaico vase
estimate: $70,000–90,000
result: $93,750

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Rare Intarsio vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Rare Intarsio vase
estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $87,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Laguna Gemmata vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Laguna Gemmata vase
estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $81,250

ERCOLE BAROVIER, monumental Intarsio vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

monumental Intarsio vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $75,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, prototype Tessere vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

prototype Tessere vase
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $69,850

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Intarsio vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Intarsio vase
estimate: $8,000–10,000
result: $65,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Intarsio vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Intarsio vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $62,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Vetro Mosaico vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Vetro Mosaico vase
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $55,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Rare Intarsio vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Rare Intarsio vase
estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $55,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Intarsio vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Intarsio vase
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $52,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, monumental Spuma di Mare vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

monumental Spuma di Mare vase
estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $50,800

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Intarsio vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Intarsio vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $50,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, A Lenti vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

A Lenti vase
estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $50,000

ERCOLE BAROVIER, A Lenti vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

A Lenti vase
estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $47,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, A Lenti vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

A Lenti vase
estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $47,500

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Medusa vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Medusa vase
estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $46,250

ERCOLE BAROVIER, Unique and Important Tessere vase | Wright20.com

Ercole Barovier

Unique and Important Tessere vase
estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $45,000