Italian pendant lamp or lantern by Vinicio Vianello for Vistosi, Murano, Italy. Marked with the labels: Made in Italy Murano and Vistosi. Dimensions: Total height from ceiling till drop: 22.8 inches (58 cm). Diameter 8.3 inches (21 cm). The fixture is equipped with a small Edison screw socket (SES), (E17 14-17 mm) max 60 watt. The electric parts are in very good condition, works in the USA.
At first glance, this is already a beautiful Mid Century pendant lamp. But on closer inspection, the very ingenious design also stands out. The shade consists of two double-walled glass parts blown into a mould. Together, these two halves, which are held together by means of a clamping system, form a decagonal prism that shines the light in different directions.
The electrical system that Vinicio Vianello developed for this lamp is just as special. Instead of a cable, Vianello used an electrified - and of course insulated - rod to which the lighting element can be clicked. The modular design also makes it possible to link several lighting elements together. Vianello acquired a patent for this unique system in 1957. (A somewhat similar system was used by Albini, Helg and Piva in their lamps for Sirrah more than ten years later).
Vinicio Vianello (1923-1999) was a very versatile and somewhat mysterious (glass) artist, designer, architect and inventor. He had his formal education as a painter at the Academy of Fine Art in his hometown of Venice. Although Vianello also continued to paint, it was around this time that he started experimenting with glass: in itself a logical step for a born Venetian. With a number of asymmetrical vases blown by the great master Alfredo Barbini, Vianello broke through in 1951 at both the Venice Biennale and the Milan Triennale. In 1957 he managed to win both the Grand Prix at the Triennale and the Compasso d'Oro with a series of vases blown by Galliano Ferro. In addition to the success of his vases, Vianello also proved to be a very talented lighting designer: not only for individual lamps, but also for complete lighting plans for large (public) spaces. Ranging from the cruise ship Leonardo Da Vinci to the headquarters of the Italian public broadcasting company. And from the Italian presidential villa in Tuscany to the monument to the unknown soldier, in illuminated Murano glass, in Baghdad.
As mentioned, Vianello was not only a gifted designer, but also a prominent artist. He joined the Spatialism movement of Lucio Fontana, whom he had already met in Milan in the late 1940s. The mutual influence between the two artists is especially evident in their neon sculptures. Besides, Vianello curated a number of (international) exhibitions in the field of Venetian glass and, together with Franco Albini and Carlo Scarpa, he initiated an experimental training for industrial designers in his native city.
Literature: Cf. L.M. Barbero (ed.), Vinicio Vianello: Pittura, vetro e design (Milan 2004), p. 137-139
As electrical requirements vary from country to country, we recommend that you always have lights checked and installed by a local professional.
Italian Pendant Lamp by Vinicio Vianello for Vistosi Murano