Falstaff – for Ravenna Festival, 2015

Alessandro Mendini

2015

LIMITED EDITION IN 6 ART PIECES IN ARABIC NUMBERS + 3 P.d.A. IN ROMAN NUMERALS

“To enter into the spirit of things, I decided to design this character at a
precise time, “between two and three”. It was certainly not easy to steer my thoughts between the inspirations offered by Giuseppe Verdi, Arrigo Boito, Shakespeare and the baton of Maestro Muti. Neither was it easy to visualise the mask of Sir John Falstaff, that gentleman so beloved yet so derided by the gossips of Windsor, nor to create such a mask on Murano using the fragile and iridescent glass of Venini.
I wanted the face to be both naïve and cunning, intelligent but to excess, to match the excessive character of Sir John. I expressed these characteristics through the face’s typical features – nose, forehead, ears, cheeks – applied as separate pieces over a gong-shaped disc that acts as receiver and transmitter for even astral sounds. As a result, this “young-and-old” English courtier has a grotesque elegance, as conveyed so well by Verdi – himself young at the time – when he created the enchantment and irony of an opera that is both fresh and rich in energy.
This classical bust of a somewhat Martian-looking imp is made in a grey glass, so dark as to be almost black. The green hair forms the luminous foliage of the tree”.

Alessandro Mendini

Colore: BLACK/CRYSTAL leaf GREEN with “Murrine” CRYSTAL /MILK-WHITE

Misure: Ø cm 33 H cm 51 (12,99” - 20”)

Tecnica di lavorazione: Beaten, Murrine, Opal

Author

Technique

Beaten

In the late 30’s the glass masters started to realize some new techniques, for which the decorative element is fundamental. Beaten and cut glass is characterized by an engraved surface with small irregular parallel scratches.

Murrine

This is one of the most ancient techniques and dates back to the Roman Age. It was
reintroduced in Murano in the late 14th century. To obtain the Murrine a cane has to
be produced and then cut in small pieces, which normally have a particular drawing
inside. The Murrine are then melted together, following a precise design, and then blown
until the desired shape is obtained.

Opal

Milk-white is an opal glass, created for the first time in Murano in the early 15th century in order to imitate porcelains, which were very renowned in Europe in those times. This particular type of color is obtained by overlapping transparent colors to the Milk-white one. Sometimes it is possible to add
some gold leaves in order to obtain the “Aurati” vases.