Napoleone Martinuzzi
1892 - 1977
Sculptor, designer and businessman. The son of a glassworker from Murano, he attended the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. He joined the secessionist group of Ca' Pesaro, where he exhibited his sculptures in 1908. His activity as a sculptor was intense in those years, and he exhibited in the major Italian events as well as in Paris, Brussels and Vienna. He was Gabriele D'Annunzio's favorite artist beginning in 1917 and designed a funeral monument for him, as well as sculpture and many works in glass which may still be seen today at the Vittoriale. Between 1921 and 1931, he directed the Museo Vetrario di Murano and in 1925 he became a partner and artistic director at the Vetri Soffiati Muranesi Venini & C.. After an initial period in which he carried on the concepts defined by his predecessor Vittorio Zecchin, creating beautiful transparent blown glass pieces, he elaborated his own distinct style directly derived from his experience as a Novecento sculptor. In 1928 he made his first pieces in pulegoso glass giving life to a plastic series of vessels with impressive shapes and vivid colors, alongside which he created unusual cacti, fruits and animals. After leaving Venini, in 1932 he founded Zecchin-Martinuzzi Vetri Artistici e Mosaici with Francesco Zecchin, for which he designed figures of animals and cacti, opaque vessels with classical shapes, female nudes in solid massiccio glass. After four years he left the company to dedicate himself exclusively to sculpture, but in the post-war period (1947) he again turned to glass, and became artistic director of Alberto Seguso's Arte Vetro, where he made glass sculptures shaped while hot. Between 1953 and 1958, he designed chandeliers and vitreous tiles for the Vetreria Cenedese, whereas between the Sixties and Seventies he designed works produced by Alfredo Barbini for Pauly & C.
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