“The Madda frame is both precious and complex. It mixes two materials that are distant from one another in nature, but they are both tied to Venetian tradition – glass and velvet – and this combination makes it an object of timeless fascination”. Madda has a rectangular structure, lined with silk light-blue velvet – produced by Rubelli, historic textile manufacturer based in Venice –, which is then silhouetted by sticks of Murano glass that play with the ton-sur-ton textile colors.
The structure is kept together by metallic nails, the same type that are used to secure Venetian wall mirrors, further connecting the object’s ties to the city’s historical luxury craftsmanship.
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.