This vase is a rare example of a model designed by Carlo Scarpa in 1942, and executed in clear glass canes. One might call it Mezza Diamante, as it is similar to the technique developed by Paolo Venini in 1938 (Diamante) in which two layers of spiraling, clear canes are blown criss- cross in order to create the optical effect of a cut and faceted diamond. In the present vase, a single layer of clear, spiraling glass is used to enhance the sensual form of the vase. This reductive approach to design is a hallmark of Scarpa’s work at Venini, and a testament to the visual power of well executed minimalist design.

Drawing from Venini Blue Pages, 1942

Carlo Scarpa 1906–1978

Carlo Scarpa was born in Venice in 1906, and died an accidental death in Japan in 1978. Like many great artists, Scarpa’s work as architect and designer is highly influential and yet remains enigmatic, illusive and hard to categorize. What is obvious in all his work is an underlying transcendental quality, an uncanny ability to create powerful emotional states in all who experience it. It is perhaps this quality that makes him one of the most beloved and revered figures in the history of 20th century Italian art and design.

Scarpa’s various biographers often point to his sensitivity to materials and his ability to evoke the past, but nothing about Scarpa is easy to define. In 1919 he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Venice and graduated in 1926 with the title of Professor of Architecture. He did not, however, sit the pro forma exam required by the Italian government, and hence was never fully licensed as an architect.

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