Murano illumina il mondo

05 December 2023

Barovier&Toso participates in “Murano Illumina il Mondo” (Murano Lights Up The World) with two signature chandeliers, designed and created for the occasion.


Piazza San Marco becomes the stage for the event that, for the first time, shines a spotlight on Murano glass in front of the Basilica. Promoted by The Venice Glass Week and the City of Venice, “Murano Illumina il Mondo” (Murano Lights Up The World) is an exhibition project in which Barovier&Toso proudly and passionately participates. 

Along with eight other Murano furnaces, the company lights up an exceptional Venetian venue, the vaults of the “Procuratie Vecchie”, which stretch for 152 meters from the Clock Tower towards the Napoleonic Wing, with a por tico of 50 full-arch arcades.  

The Murano glass craft industry meets contemporary art, proving to be a forge of new ideas and an international center for experimentation and collaboration. A total of twelve artists and designers are involved in the project, selected by a special Scientific Committee composed of Rosa Barovier Mentasti, glass historian, David Landau, Trustee of Pentagram Stiftung, and Chiara Squarcina, Director of the Museum Activities Area of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia. All artists were invited to reinterpret and transform a daily use object, such as the chandelier, into a true work of art.


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Barovier&Toso participates in this unique public art intervention with two chandeliers. 

These are original masterpieces, strictly created for the occasion, born from the collaboration between the company’s master glassmakers and three internationally renowned artists, Giorgio Vigna, and the duo composed of Monica Guggisberg and Philip Baldwin. 

With this artistic project, Barovier&Toso once again demonstrates its craftsmanship skills, its attitude towards experimentation, and its innovative spirit, reaching out, over the next three months, to a truly vast audience, made up of people from all over the world. 

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Giorgio Vigna 


Reality and imagination confront each other: they scrutinize, court, and move together. Orchestrating this dialogue, which brings to life Siphonophera, is the artist Giorgio Vigna, alongside whom the skilled craftsmen of Barovier&Toso have jointly walked. 

The company’s centuries-old experience joins the creative flair of the artist, and the glass material is explored differently, beating paths out of the ordinary, to reveal new possibilities. A deep connoisseur of Venice, the city where he was artistically trained, and of glass, a material that is an integral part of his research, Vigna chooses, for this project, to use Venetian crystal in a sculptural way, combining it with steel. 

Inspired by the wind and the water, natural elements shape the form of Siphonophera, creating a sense of movement and fluidity. The suspended light sculpture seems to move to the rhythm of the wind or sway in the water, like a mysterious sea creature, evoking nature in its multiple worlds and primordial aspects.

4 The light elements are 42, each different from the other, unique irregular prisms, handcrafted. They are obtained by blowing and then grinding, a process not commonly used in the creation of objects by Barovier&Toso, which bases its production mainly on furnace work, when hot. 

However, the collaboration with Vigna brings this great novelty for the company, the diamond-cut glass. The creation of each piece required, as a first step, the creation, in the furnace, of a massive layer of glass around a blown bubble, through several successive lifts, and, as a second phase, in the grinding department, a long process of subtraction, when cold, necessary to define all the faces. The result is a complex, multifaceted object, hollow in the most inner part, where the LED is hidden. 

Thanks to the geometric characteristics of the elements it is composed of, Siphonophera produces decomposed and asymmetric lighting effects, both when the light is on and off, creating an ethereal and mutable atmosphere. The hundreds of shiny facets can refract ambient light even during daylight hours, making the whole sculpture sparkle unpredictably. Adding even more dynamism to the suspension is its metallic structure, designed like the ribbing of a leaf, which connects all the light elements together. The galvanized gold finish of the steel further enhances the Venetian crystal elements, giving them a warm hue.



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Art and design, functionality, and abstract expression. Barovier&Toso reveals another side of its expertise. The chandelier designed by Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg interprets the high craftsmanship-technology paradigm through an innovative approach to material and light. The distinctive signature of the two artists and designers, linked by a partnership of over forty years, manifests itself both in technical aspects and in a very direct formal lexicon, characterized by clear lines and a strong and vibrant combination of colors. 

Il Redentore is born in honor of the famous Venetian festival, traditionally accompanied by spectacular fireworks. An explosion of lights and colors: symbolically and iconographically this is the inspiration that animates the light sculpture. 

The challenge of the project was to create something contemporary and classic, sober and showy, both of the 19th century and of the 21st. To achieve this, work was done by subtraction, in search of a simplicity that would give voice to light disruptively.

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The chandelier is composed of 44 arms in Venetian crystal, positioned on 3 levels: at the first level 8 arms in antalia green, at the second 16 arms in bluastro tones, longer and more curved, and at the third level 20 red arms, even more extended and reaching upwards. 

Each rod has a colored core, to which, during processing, silver leaf is applied, then covered by a layer of transparent crystal, about 1 cm thick. 

This particular layering ensures that the LED, mounted on the head of the arm, transmits light along the entire length of the rod, reaching its tip. The luminous effect given by the plurality of elements is powerful and creates an astonishing play of glares and reflections. 

The internal silver specks, in addition to embellishing the crystal, give the sculpture an even more sparkling appearance, even during the day. In green, bluastro and red, the mounts that accommodate the arms are of the same color, further accentuating the chromatic strength of the entire chandelier.

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