Ercole Barovier

Murano, Venice 1989 — Murano, Venice 1974

Lively colours and unlikely materials were one part of Ercole Barovier's style that made a significant contribution to the renewal of artistic glass.

After studying medicine, he became a partner in his father’s company Vetreria Artistica Barovier & C., which had become famous for murrine glassware in modern style. Barovier demonstrated his talent right from the start with his production of glass inspired by Art Deco. In 1926, together with his brother Nicolò and his cousin Napoleone, he purchased the family company outright, assuming the role of art director. In 1929, he made the accidental discovery of a new type of glass, the renowned Primavera, a transparent white craquelé with a milky look. From 1932 on, the management of the company was in his hands alone, but his meeting with the two Murano glassmaker brothers in 1942 led to the founding of Barovier & Toso, where he held the positions of administrator and art director until 1972.

Regularly participating in national and international events in the glassware and interior decor sectors since the 1920s, he received numerous prizes and awards over the years at the Venice Biennials, the 1930 Monza Triennale, two Milan Triennials in 1933 and 1954, the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1937, and the 1956 Golden Compass. His works are displayed in personal retrospective shows at the Angelicum in Milan (1951), the Corning Museum of Glass of New York (1959), in Murano (1975), and at the Venice Biennale (1976).

In his fifty years of activity, Ercole Barovier played a key role in the renewal of Murano glassmaking art, inventing numerous techniques linked to the decoration and working of tessuto vitreo. His production is outstanding for the colour and singularity of the materials used. His Neomurrine (1972) was the final series he created for the company before retiring and handing over the reins to his son, Angelo.