“Murrine romane” glass presents a particularly intense moment in Carlo Scarpa’s glasswork. Conceived together with Paolo Venini in 1936, it was greeted with considerable success at both the Biennale in Venice and the Triennale in Milan.
This series represents a reinterpretation of ancient Rome’s earliest glassware created by melting tiny tesserae of polychrome glass around a shape in refractory material. The objects that emerge are irregular in line and archaic in feeling, with a play of light over the surfaces enlivened by its composite murrine rods. The complexity of execution was such that Scarpa and Venini produced only few pieces.
In an article on the 1936 Trienniale published in Domus, Gio Ponti defined these productions as superb: murrine, lattei (meaning lattimo glass) and admirable chandeliers.
Marina Barovier (editor), Carlo Scarpa. Venini 1932-1947, Skira, Milan, 2012, exhibition catalogue (Venice, Le Stanze del Vetro, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, August 29, 2012 – January 6, 2013), page 171.