Venini Blue Pendant Lamp
Materials: Hand blown crystal Murano glass lampshade in a bell or clock form. Clear blue on the outside, white on the inside (incamiciato). Bakelite E27 socket.
Cord Length: 80 cm / 31.49”
Height: 28 cm / 11.02”
Width: ∅ 24 cm / 9.44”
Electricity: 1 light bulb E27, 1 x 75 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used, but preferably a white/opaque light bulb.
Period: 1950s, 1960s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: Massimo Vignelli (1931-2014).
Manufacturer: Venini, Murano, Italy.
Other versions: This Venini blue pendant lamp exists in several colours: red, blue, yellow, grey, green…
This hand blown blue pendant lamp was designed in the late 50’s, early in Massimo Vignelli’s career, when he lived in Venice. The lamp is made by Venini, one of the most outstanding art glass companies on Murano. This pendant lamp is turning into purple when lit.
Born in Milan, Italy, Massimo Vignelli was one of the greatest graphic designers of the 20th century. His most famous and controversial design was his 1972 subway map of New York which replaced geographical accuracy with geometric clarity.
Massimo Vignelli: “If you can design one thing, you can design everything”.
Paolo Venini (1895-1959), a Milanese lawyer, and Giacomo Cappellin (1887-1968), a Venetian antique dealer, founded Cappellin Venini & Co in 1921. Painter Vittorio Zecchin (1887-1948) became the artistic director. After a few years the company was split in two and the company Vetri Soffiati Muranesi Venini & Co was founded. Napoleone Martinuzzi became the new artistic director. Martinuzzi brought innovation with the “pulegoso” glass. It is characterised by thousands of air bubbles. Carlo Scarpa and Paolo Venini presented some other new techniques, such as Battuti (Battuto), Granulari, Murrine and Tessuti.
Designers that worked for Venini are, among others: Carlo Scarpa, Gio Ponti, Eugene Barman, Ken Scott, Banfi, Belgiojoso, Peressuti and Rogers, Fulvio Bianconi, Tobia Scarpa (son of Carlo. Toni Zuccheri, Tapio Wirkkala, Owe Thorssen, Brigitta Karlsson, Tina Aufiero, Gae Aulenti, Ettore Sottssass. Mario Bellini, Timo Sarpaneva, Fulvio Bianconi, Elena Cutolo, Giorgio Vigna. Emmanuel Babled, Rodolfo Dordoni, Monica Guggisberg, Alessandro Mendini, Philip Baldwin.
The company still exists and they make the most beautiful glass art. Of course they have a distinguished shop on the San Marco Square (Piazza San Marco) in Venice. A must see when you visit the town.
Vetro Doublé: an object made of two layers of glass normally of two different colours.
Incamiciato: overlay lattimo glass (= milky looking glass) with a layer of transparent coloured glass. It is the alternative for vetro doublé.
Links (external links open in a new window)
This lamp with catalogue pictures the Ztijl.nl website
The Subway and the City: Massimo Vignelli, article on the MoMa website
Massimo Vignelli at the MoMa museum in New York
Glass blowing on Murano – Wikipedia
Glass Museum on the Murano Island
Vittorio Zecchin – Wikipedia (Italian)
Massimo Vignelli blue green & white pendant lamps
Another Massimo Vignelli pendant lamp
Interview with Massimo Vignelli