The Swimmer - Il Nuotatore MURANO Venetian Glass
Made on the island of Murano, near Venice, Italy. Believe made by Cenedese, and designed by Riccardo Licata, unmarked.
Riccardo Licata Born in Turin in 1929. He studied at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts beginning in 1947, then in 1957 he became instructor in the art of mosaics at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, requested from Gino Severini. Painter, graphic artist and glass designer, he cooperated with Archimede Seguso and with Cenedese in 1952, with Venini & Co. in 1956 and with Fucina Degli Angeli.
Length 11 inches Height 3 inches Width 5 inches
Very Heavy and Tactile.
History: In 1951 'The Swimmer' was first seen displayed in a shop window; Salviati. It was on its' own positioned against black velvet and well illuminated. On enquiry, informed that the piece was unique and a 'museum piece' having just returned from display at the 'World's Fair in New York. On subsequent return visitations to Venice, special journey to Salviati's to see 'The Swimmer' which was still shown with pride but not for sale.
During one such visit in the 1960's to the H.O. on the Grand Canal eventually bought the Object D'art as a present.
Developed uniquely because within the 'making' of the piece, the figure was made first and then reheated - not enough to melt the glass, but enough to accept the surrounding molten glass. [Nowadays there are fish in glass etc etc so the process is no longer rare].
Further information : Palazzo Salviati is a 19th century building with gaudy mosaics advertising the products pf the Salviati glassworks. Salviati, Fondamenta Radi, 16, Murano Venice , Italy 33 321 95 9622 The Salviati is a great place to visit when you’re in Venice. A Shopping Centre for Venetian Glass Salviati, Grand Canal.
Inside of biggest factories, some lucky people could see the creation of masterpieces made by a glazier-master. The best part of Murano production takes place during winter because the temperature is cooler. The inside of the furnace is about 1000 C° (538 F°;). In its surroundings it's really hot and working is hard. The glazier-master does not have a model in front of him to copy but only his creativity. He removes, by a metal rod, from the furnace a red hot bolus made by glass particles, takes the rod to his mouth and blows through the rod to create the shape he wishes. In order to make it, he uses a spatula and a tool called a "borsella". A helper, called "servente", helps him hold up the weight that sometimes can be considerable. The families Toso, Barovier, Salviati and Seguso (only making mention of some) have contributed, throughout the centuries, with their glazier-masters, to make Murano celebrated worldwide.