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The magic of Murano Review at cheap-bag-fashion.com

Added: (Fri Apr 27 2012)

Pressbox (Press Release) - Prada BR4099 Gray Leather Cervo Antik Hobo BagThe magic of Murano

Dr David Landau and his wife Marie-Rose Kahane have together built the world's finest collection of Venini glass. They gave Apollo a tour at their home in Venice, and explained why they wish to share their art with the city that inspired it.LOUIS VUITTON BAGS

"It is as if the collection has its own life,' says Marie-Rose Kahane. 'When I started buying Venini glass in the early 1980s--simply because I thought it beautiful and liked the idea of seeing it every day at home--I was living in London. Nobody could have guessed that I would end up living here, in Venice, 20 years later--or that it would become a collection and come here with me. I find it extraordinary that it should end up a kilometre away from the place that it was made.' She pauses to consider another coincidence. 'It is also somehow really touching that the designer of that first piece I bought, Alessandro Diaz de Santillana, turned out to be a descendent of Paolo Venini and that he and his sister Laura have become very close friends. I think a collection like this has its own natural path which you cannot really control.' LOUIS VUITTON MONOGRAM CANVAS

Of course, there is no collection quite like this. Of the perhaps 10 great holdings of Venetian glass in the world, none other has specialised in the firm of Venini & Co. Not even the celebrated Museo del Vetro in Murano, which--shockingly--has only a handful of pieces even though Venini was without doubt the most innovative and influential glassmaker of the 20th-century in Italy, and arguably the world. It is through a remarkable collaboration of what Ms Kahane describes as 'spirit' that she and her husband, David Landau, a distinguished scholar of Renaissance prints as well as a publisher and businessman, have amassed a peerless assemblage of some 1,500 pieces dating from 1921--the year Paolo Venini, a former lawyer, launched into the glassmaking business--to around 1970. LOUIS VUITTON DAMIER AZUR CANVAS

The tip of this iceberg surrounds us now, loosely arranged in chronological order across the display shelves in the dining room of their palazzo (Fig. 2), the light of a perfect Venetian winter's day dancing across its largely monochrome surfaces and casting myriad rainbow arcs of dazzling colour. Larger vases, a delicate spectrum of translucent hues, range across the tops of the shelves on all three windowless walls. Beneath them sit a group of sculptural 'sketches' in wax, terracotta and plaster, including works ranging from Giambologna to Lucio Fontana, as well as neat rows of art books (the tip of another iceberg). In the adjoining salone, flanked by monumental portrait busts by Canova and Bertel Thorvaldsen (Figs. 5 and 6), stand two vitrines of glass by Giacomo Cappellin, a Venetian antiques dealer and Paolo Venini's one-time partner who left to set up his own manufactory in 1925. Indeed, the couple's holdings include the world's largest collection of glass from the short-lived firm of Cappellin Venini & Co. LOUIS VUITTON MAHINA LEATHER

'Encountering Venini was chance, and came about by me spending time here in Venice,' continues Ms Kahane. Her late father, the Austrian entrepreneur and philanthropist Karl Kahane, had an apartment there. It was at the Venini shop beside Piazza San Marco that she made her first, fateful acquisition: a vase from Messandro Diaz de Santillana's 'Coccio' series (Fig. 3). 'It is beautiful and refined--off white with dark blue--and very experimental in its technique. When you first look at it you are not sure whether it is porcelain or glass, and I liked this ambiguity,' she explains. 'In fact, it was made using a very complex technique involving putting together little glass pieces--murrini--which are fused together then blown into a shape. At the time, I thought it was incredibly expensive.LOUIS VUITTON DAMIER GRAPHITE CANVAS

'Soon after that, inspired by some close friends in London, I became interested in the Arts and Crafts Movement and how art is translated into industrial production--textiles, glass, metalwork, ceramics--and I began to buy Venini of a much earlier period. I really felt that I had a lead in that Venini was the first glass manufacturer to understand that he had to bring in designers rather than carry on making the same ornate pieces--the little animals, the flowers--that had continued since the 18th century. He brought in the architect Carlo Scarpa who introduced simpler, more architectural shapes and a more conceptual approach. I began buying slowly I did not think of it as building up a collection.' 'But then I met David.' She smiles. 'David is the collector--he was born a collector.' LOUIS VUITTON MONOGRAM VERNIS

Sitting at her side, Dr Landau takes over the story. 'I did not know anything about the glass that Rosi collected and I did not understand it, so I started looking and trying to understand it better, and then I got the bug as I have many times in my life,' he laughs ruefully, the evidence of said bug perilously close to crowding every space, wall and surface of the palazzo. 'I started studying, visiting museums and dealers, then I started buying with Rosi, looking at pieces together. We started off buying pieces from the 1920s and then the 30s and 40s, which is the classic period of Venini, and then we started looking at pieces made after the war, like these Paolo Venini "new" incisi.'

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