Barovier epitomizes high quality and reinterpreted traditional Murano glassmaking techniques. Maestro and designer Benvenuto Barovier (1855-1932) first worked as a glassblower for the Compagnia di Venezia e Murano (C.V.M.) before Antonio Salviati invited Benvenuto and his brother Giuseppe Barovier (1835-1942) to collaborate in his new firm Salviati dott. Antonio. The brothers eventually bought the company and renamed it Artisti Barovier around 1890. At this point, Barovier was noted for its mosaico and murrine glass, decoration of blown pieces, and experimentation with crushed glass, all made with impeccable technical prowess. Barovier exhibited these creations at Venice’s Cà Pesaro. Benvenuto’s sons, entrepreneurs and designers Ercole Barovier (1889-1974) and Nicolò Barovier (1895-1947) became partners in the company in 1925 and Ercole would become its sole proprietor in 1936. Nicolò, familiar with contemporary painting, created murrine vessels with elaborate geometric patterns and unique colors. Despite their 1942 merger with SAIAR Ferro-Toso, Ercole Barovier maintained artistic direction of the new Barovier & Toso until 1972. His work contributed significantly to the flourishing of art glass, and particularly the murrine vessels in the 1920s, the Primavera collection (1929-30), and the Oriente series in the 1940s, all with Barovier’s signature raw or iridized surface, applied decoration, use of controlled air bubbles, and unusual color combinations.
Marina Barovier, ed. Art of the Barovier Glassmakers in Murano, 1866-1972 (Venice: Arsenale, 1993).
Howard J. Lockwood, “Ercole Barovier: the Non-Murrine Work of the Post-War Years,” Echoes 6:1 (Summer 1997), 24, 26, 80.
Howard J. Lockwood, “Ercole Barovier: the Fused Glass of the Post-War Years,” Echoes 6:2 (Fall 1997), 26-28.
Revere McFadden, David, et. al., Venetian Glass: The Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu Collection (Milan and New York: Charta and the American Craft Museum, 2000), 237.