The Heritage Studio

The “Glass rooms”: Napoleone Martinuzzi’s fine designs for Venini

By Sissi Macchetto

Il vetraio sta davanti all’arte fiammeggiante e il suo soffio fa del vetro una forma leggera ed espressiva come la parola giusta  Gabriele d’Annunzio, The Secret Book, 1935

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The Story of Napoleone Martinuzzi zucca_martinuzzi

Settings: Venice and the Garda Lake, early twentieth century

Leading actor:
Murano born Napoleone Martinuzzi (Murano1892 – Rome 1977), was a sculptor and glass designer. He attended Accademia dell Belle Arti in Venice and studied sculpture in Rome then returned to Murano and worked at Venini&Co as partner and artistic director from 1925-1931. His friendship with famous writer Gabriele D’Annunzio is shown in many letters in which the poet lauds Martinuzzi’s work and craftsmanship.

Plot: During the period of his collaboration with Paolo Venini, Martinuzzi designed beautiful objects whose shapes were inspired by classical design, but through the use of innovative techniques and of glass paste. An exhibition held at Fondazione Cini in Venice, promoted by Le Stanze del Vetro “Napoleone Martinuzzi. Venini 1925 – 193″ will run until december 1st 2013 and traces Martinuzzi’s whole production chronologically: from the elegant transparent blown glass to the works with an unprecedented opaque texture, from the experimentations with pulegoso glass to pieces with intense and compact colours. The exhibition also pays tribute to Martinuzzi’s friendship with Gabriele D’annunzio and to the designs the sculptor made upon D’annunzio’s specific request for his residence, Il Vittoriale. Each object done for D’annunzio is a unique piece and can still be seen in the rooms of the poet’s magnificent house: the bright pumpkin made of “incamiciato” glass  and many others tastefully crafted objects as the vase with large ribbed handles, the large basket with fruits, the transparent blue glass cup and the elephant made of red vitreous paste.

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Photos: courtesy of Le Stanze del Vetro

 

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