Istituto di Storia dell'Arte

Luca Massimo Barbero

Centro Studi del Vetro
Tel.: +39 041 2710306

Marzia Scalon (
Sabina Tutone (

Vinicio Vianello (Venice, 1923 - Zelarino-VE 1999), a multi-faceted artist-designer who belonged to the Spatialist movement, while remaining in a transverse position to the "official" artistic current, was one of the most complex and significant figures of the postwar period. Constantly aimed at free experimentation, one of the main purposes of his singular inquiry was the study and treatment of various materials in terms of technique and language. Engraving, painting, ceramics, glass, design and lighting, but also architectural work on projects for alternative energy sources were the research fields of this leading figure in contemporary art. He exhibited several times at the Venice Biennale, the Milan Triennale and obtained the prestigious La Rinascente Compasso d'Oro Prize in 1957, among other awards.

The Vianello collection, held at the Centro Studi del vetro, consists of an important core of documents, divided into approximately 1100 drawings and 12 folders with material relating to the artist's work in the specific sector of glass. The main corpus, consisting of original designs and sketches, is grouped in 323 rolls - spanning a chronological arc from 1956 to 1988 - for glass works (vases, bowls, cups, tumblers, objects), lighting elements (table lamps, outdoor lamps, standard lamps, spotlights, sconces, ceiling fittings, chandeliers, false ceilings) and large-scale lighting designs for architectural and town planning projects carried out in Italy and abroad, for public and private clients. The folders contain more than 500 original photographs, 400 photographic reproductions of different sizes, 70 colour photos and photographic proofs, 15 CDs, eight industrial patents, posters, production and collective and solo exhibition catalogues, a large number of heliographic copies and photocopies of correspondence; about 210 articles from press and publishing releases by and on the maestro relating to the glass sector, also collected after his death. The archive also holds extensive documentation on the posthumous exhibition on his activity in the glass and decorative arts sector: Vinicio Vianello. Il design del vetro, held at the Museo di Castelvecchio in Verona in 2007.

The collection was donated to the Fondazione Giorgio Cini by Vinicio Vianello's nephew, the architect Toni Follina, on October 29, 2015.

Sorting criteria:

The criterion by which it was decided to publish the designs in the collection respects the original organisation of the rolls received, indicated by progressive numbering and each covering different designs, sometimes not always related to a single work. Similar or related subjects were then linked by access keys and search filters. The material collected in the bundles was sorted by logical division, after analytical registration of the documents contained, though without altering the original order.

Essential bibliography:

G. C. Argan (ed.), Vinicio Vianello. Creazioni e produzioni esclusive, Stampa Fantonigrafica, Venice 1977

L. M. Barbero (ed.), Vinicio Vianello. Pittura, vetro e design, Skira, Milan 2004

A. Bassi, P. Marini, A. Di Lieto (ed.), Vinicio Vianello. Il design del vetro, Marsilio, Venice 2007

Production catalogues by Vinicio Vianello

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