“The Papadopoli is my own family’s palace, so it was a natural candidate for inclusion in the glass palace series. Rather than show the whole building I wanted to render just a part of the second piano nobile, the Baroque windows of the attic where I and my family live, and the extraordinary obelisks that adorn the roof.”
The candle holder was created in Murano, from grey blown glass, on which the key details of the Grand Canal facade are hand engraved, the contrast between the smooth glass base and the matt engraved part make it an object of unusual elegance. When the candle inside is lit, the holder comes to life like a real palace and throws the flickering architectural contours onto the table, creating curiously absorbing effects.
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.