A series on the Venetian palaces could hardly be without a Doge’s Palace: since time immemorial the symbol of the Serenissima, with its intricately carved capitals, its Gothic loggia and allegorical sculptures, capturing the imagination of artists and writers over the centuries. The building seems to emerge “from out the wave… as from the stroke of the enchanter’s wand”, as Lord Byron put it. The Palazzo Ducale candle holder reproduces on grey Murano glass the airiness of the original’s marble lacework.
The design plays with contrasts, alternating a delicate line with large areas of hatching; once the candle is lit, the piece comes alive and really might be the palace that from a distance looms over the basin of St Mark’s at night.
The life of Giberto Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga is viscerally linked to Venice. His childhood memories, the most beautiful, are those that have taken place in the rooms of Palazzo Papadopoli, between frescoes of Tiepolo and family affection. “In my earliest memories Venice had other colours. It was more obscure, dramatic, decayed and deeply romantic – simply beautiful. There wasn’t the same light like there is today – more dazzling perhaps, but less poetic.”
Each piece derives from a watercolour sketch made by Giberto on tracing paper: “When I see something that inspires me, or an object that I like, I sketch and rework it – then move on to the realization of it.”
The glass, the main material in the collections, is worked exclusively in Murano. Each glass, each specific object, is blown by master glassmakers in the Venetian furnaces.
Giberto takes his watercolours to discuss with them and refine the project, check its feasibility, and to make eventual changes.