Venini: 100 Years of Art and Made in Italy
In celebration of Venini’s centenary, discover one of the greatest brands of Venetian craftsmanship. Explore the world of Murano glass and Venini’s fascinating story of excellence and innovation that started in Italy and spread all over the world.
Iconic glassmaking company Cappellin Venini & C. was founded in 1921 by Paolo Venini and Giacomo Cappelin. Divided and renamed Vetri Soffiati Muranesi Venini in 1925, it soon became a well-recognized name in artistic glass production. Located in the famous Murano Island – worldwide renowned center for glassmaking – the old ‘fornace’ (the kiln) today represents a symbol of Italian craftsmanship and passion.
Since the beginning of this adventure, the Venetian artist Vittorio Zecchin decided to join the mission of Paolo Venini and Giacomo Cappellin, serving as the brand’s artistic director. The combination of these three different personalities laid the foundations for the stylistic identity that still characterizes the company today: challenging traditional schemes, embracing the avant-gardes, and mastering glassmaking techniques thanks to the contribution of master Murano glassmakers.
One hundred years of history, tradition and innovation, in which the mastery of techniques is mixed with the artistic avant-garde. What is the distinctive trait that has distinguished Venini's character since 1921?
Venini has distinguished itself since 1921 thanks to the perfect balance between artisanal "savoir-faire" made in Murano, the pursuit of excellence, design and originality.
Born together with Venini, the famous Veronese vase, designed by Vittorio Zecchin, is still today a symbol, not only of the brand but also of the glass manufacturing made in Italy. Where does the inspiration for this timeless work of art come from?
Veronese vas was mouth-blown for the first time in 1921, the year the company was founded, thanks to the creative intuition of the painter Vittorio Zecchin, Artistic Director of Venini from 1921 to 1925: the artist was fascinated by a detail of the painting “L’annunciazione della Vergine” by Paolo Veronese still preserved at the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice.
From «The Annunciation» by Paolo Veronese to the Fornace (Kiln): a wonderful journey for this fine vase by Vittorio Zecchin. A complex shape, curved beyond imagination: Veronese defies gravity, just like in the painting that inspired its creation. And its beauty wins it all, for centuries on end.
Designed in 1921 by Vittorio Zecchin, artistic director of Venini from 1921 to 1925, this splendid mouth-blown glass vase boasts a delicate shape, reminiscent of ancient vases, inspired by a painting of 1580 by Paolo Veronese, The Annunciation of the Virgin. It is executed with the "soffiato" technique in clear glass with a clear crystal sphere adorning the footed base.
For over a century, the ‘Fornace’ founded by Paolo Venini has represented a meeting place between glass masters and designers. Among these we remember Gio Ponti, Fornasetti, Albini, Sottsass, Gae Aulenti, Mendini, Tadao Ando, Peter Marino and many others but the one with Carlo Scarpa is the longest running. How was this relationship born and how has it evolved over the years?
The long collaboration between Carlo Scarpa and Paolo Venini (1932 - 1947) was fruitful and relevant. The active participation of Carlo Scarpa at the furnace resulted in the conception and constant research of processing techniques with a large and diversified high-level production.
Speaking of glass, Murano Island immediately comes to mind, and Venini has certainly contributed to creating this strong link between material and territory. What is the relationship between the Venetian Island and the ancient furnace?
During these one hundred years of history and passion, Venini has preserved and interpreted a unique artistic heritage that has its origins in the 13th-century Venetian culture, creating distinctive works that combine the profound knowledge of tradition with the allure of contemporary tastes.
Innovative techniques were born thanks to Venini's avant-garde vision. What is the creative process that has been most successful in your history and why?
The meeting between artists, designers and master glassmakers forged an artistic production particularly rich in the style, forms, and expressive languages appreciated by collectors the world over, design enthusiasts and lovers of beauty. There isn’t a specific successful technique but there are many pieces that are recognized as icons: Fazzoletto, Monofiori Balloton, Opalino, Labuan, Clessidra and Deco are timeless objects with a unique style.
A gentle breeze blowing through the streets of Murano gently ruffles the colorful skirts of women passing by. This scene inspired Fulvio Bianconi to create a unique piece whose shape changes with every single creation, as if ruffled by the wind of the Fornace.
This sublime vase celebrates traditional Venetian craftsmanship. Soft, delicate curves distinguish the creased silhouette, which is enhanced by strong colors and masterfully executed details.
100 Years of Art and Italian Passion
Since it was established, the company has always stood out for the unique and skillful techniques used by its master glassblowers and for its ample array of colors. Key technical features that are further enhanced by the many collaborations with international artists and designers, which testify to the importance of the art and culture of glassblowing in the rest of the world.
From 1921 on, Venini developed his own aesthetic and soon defined his firm’s identity embracing innovative trends in the fields of art and architecture, bringing in talented artists and designers from all over the world. Venini’s aesthetic was revolutionary and one-of-a-kind made of elegant modern shapes and experimental textures. Starting with Carlo Scarpa, Venini has collaborated with several Italian and international designer such as Gio Ponti, Albini, Sottsass, Gae Aulenti, Mendini, Tadao Ando, Peter Marino and many more, interpreting and enhancing their style with the authentic passion of Italian craftsmanship.