Vittorio Zecchin

Dark amethyst glass vase, decorated with stylised female figures and rising suns in gold graffito and polychrome enamels

The son of Murano glassmakers, Vittorio Zecchin began designing works in glass after an intense period as a painter, thus following the example of artists such as Gustav Klimt and Jan Toorop, whom he met via the Venice Biennale exhibitions.

Practical necessities led him to move away from painting, where, in his own words, he risked “losing myself by working here and there, letting myself drift like a leaf in the wind.” As a result, he went to work in a Murano “glass factory” as a “composer of glass”; he fell in love with this luminous, fluid and colourful material, so similar to gems, and thus discovered the best way to express his creativity. Alongside the production of vases in murrine glass, Vittorio Zecchin, in collaboration with Artisti Barovier, also created a limited series of glassworks in simple forms with gold and enamel decorations, the subjects of which were drawn from his most famous paintings. 

In the “Decorative Art” section at the Ca’ Pesaro Esposizione Permanente d’Arte e d’Industrie Veneziane of 1919, Vittorio Zecchin presented a series of enamelled glassworks, embroideries and tapestries. Among the list of works, there is one entitled Il levar del sole [Sunrise]. Although it remains unclear whether this was a work in glass or embroidery, it could credibly be the vase in question, given that there is no photographic evidence of the event.

The base bears the AB logo surmounted by a crown within a circle.


Vittorio Zecchin 1878-1947. Pittura, vetro, arti decorative (Venice: Marsilio-Musei Civici Veneziani, 2002), exh. cat. (Venice, Museo Correr, 10 November 2002 – 9 February 2003), p. 146, fig. 112; Venezia: gli anni di Ca’ Pesaro 1908-1920 (Milan: Mazzotta, 1987), exh. cat. (Venice, Ala Napoleonica and Museo Correr, 19 December 1987 – 28 February 1988), p. 248, fig. 22.

Vittorio Zecchin
c. 1919
Made by
Artisti Barovier
22 cm