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.