About the artist

Napoleone Martinuzzi (1892, Murano (Venezia) – 1977, Venezia) was an Italian sculptor, glass artist and entrepreneur of Italian glass. He attended the Accademia di Belle Arti (Academy of Fine Arts) of Venice, and later joined the Secessionist group of Cà Pesaro, where he exhibited his sculptures in 1908. In 1910, he cooperated with the sculptor Angelo Zanelli in Rome. In 1917, he became friends with the famous writer and poet Gabriele D’Annunzio, for whom he designed glassware and several sculptures, which are exhibited in the Vittoriale (Gardone, Italy). He returned to Murano, where he was appointed a Director of the Museo Vetrario from 1921 to 1931.

In 1925, he became a partner and artistic director at the Vetri Soffiati Muranesi Venini & C. After carrying on the concepts of his predecessor, Vittorio Zecchin, and creating beautifully transparent blown glass pieces, he elaborated his own distinct style, directly derived from his experience as a Novecento sculptor. In 1928, he made his first pieces in pulegoso glass, giving life to a sculptural series of vessels with impressive shapes and vivid colours, as well as an unusual collection of cacti, fruits, and animals. In 1932, after leaving Venini, he founded along with Francesco Zecchin, the firm Zecchin-Martinuzzi Vetri Artistici e Mosaici, for which he designed figures of animals and cacti, opaque vessels with classical shapes, and female nudes in solid massiccio glass. In 1947, he became artistic director of Alberto Seguso’s new concern, Arte Vetro. Between 1953 and 1958, he designed chandeliers and glass tiles for the Vetreria Cenedese. During the 1960's some of the works he designed for the company Pauly, have been executed by Antonio Barbini. Martinuzzi had very important exhibitions in Italy and participated many times at the Venice Biennials.