Vittorio Zecchin

Murano, Venice 1878 — Murano, Venice 1947

A truly electric artist, Vittorio Zecchin approached the glassmaker’s art after intense activity as a painter and falling in love with this luminous, fluid, coloured material so similar to a precious gemstone.

The son of Murano glassmakers, he took a lively interest in contemporary culture and frequently attended the Venice Biennale, where he dove discovered the works of Toorop and Klimt that would later provide his inspiration. He was associated with the Secessionist group of artists from 1909 onward, exhibiting his paintings at Ca’ Pesaro.

Considering himself a “composer of glass materials” at a furnace in Murano, his lifelong infatuation with handling glass began a few years later. His extraordinarily refined wares led to a dramatic change in Murano glass production that was mired in the repetition of outdated models at the time. At the 1914 Venice Biennale, he presented a set of murrine glass wares fired in the Artisti Barovier furnace. Alongside it, he produced another limited-edition series in simple forms with gold and enamel decor whose subjects were inspired by his most famous paintings.

He served as the first art director at the Vetri Soffiati Muranesi Venini & C. glassworks from 1921 to 1925. This was when he designed his most famous pieces in clear glass, his elegantly-shaped blown glass monochromes often inspired by classic Venetian glass of the 16th century. These new creations were widely admired at the Monza Biennials (1923 and 1925) and at the Paris Universal Exhibition of Decorative and Industrial Arts (1925). He worked with different furnaces during the 1930s, participating with them at the Venice Biennials with the presentation of embroidery work. He dedicated the ten years of his life to education, teaching at various trade schools in Venice.