Vittorio Zecchin

Vittorio Zecchin (1878-1947) was a painter, graphic designer, designer of glass, furniture and ceramics. More on him here, and if you can read Italian, click here. The visionary Italian artist did not begin his artistic career until he was over thirty years of age. He had originally abandoned his ambitions at the age of twenty-three, when, disillusioned with the narrow, unimaginative style of teaching at the Venetian Academy of Fine Arts and convinced that nobody would listen to his ideas, he left in 1901 and became a civil servant in Murano.

Zecchin remained at his municipal desk for eight long years, until 1909, by which time the first whisperings of a new artistic movement in Venice had become strong enough to persuade him that there was a place for him in the creative world.

Unable to contain his creative powers any longer, Zecchin joined a group of artists, who influenced by the idea of Klimt and Toorop, had pooled their ideas and began to exhibit at the Ca’Pesaro, the Museum of Modern Art, between 1908 and 1920.

By 1913-14, Zecchin had managed not only to set his feet firmly along the decorative path that he wished to follow, but had become central to the movement.

The high point of Zecchin’s endeavors as a painter was reached in 1914 with his opulent 30-meter-long (100-foot) series of a dozen canvases entitled “Le Mille e una Notta” (One Thousand and One Nights) depicting the procession of Aladdin and his fabulous, gift-bearing entourage of eastern princes and princesses, arriving to seek the hand of the Sultan’s daughter. These were commissioned for the dining room of the Hotel Terminus in Venice, but later, alas, scattered between diverse public and private collections. Ca’ Pesaro presently owns half of the “One Thousand and One Nights” panels.

Over the next few years, he applied his decorative philosophy to glassware and tapestry, setting up his own tapestry workshop in Murano in 1916 and becoming director of the Cappellin-Venini glass company in 1921. He worked with Artisti Barovier from 1921-25, M.V.M. Cappellin from 1925-1926, V.E.M. in 1932, Artistica Vetreria e Sofferia Barovier & Toso in 1933 and Fratelli Toso in 1938.

He was thus able to continue practising and teaching his craft and ideology until 1938, when he retired, exhausted, saying: ‘I can sing no longer, my heart is sucked dry’.

*** Thank you Sarah for sharing a link where you can purchase the 1001 nights print HERE.

Haute couture designer Gianfranco Ferré who unmistakebly studied architecture, brilliantly combined Vittorio Zecchin’s art and South American influences in a previous collection.


27 responses to “Vittorio Zecchin

  1. I love Klimt and never heard of this artist before. Thank you so much for sharing his life and all the gorgeous art he created. I love everything!!!

  2. Thanks for the fabulous Art History lesson, Belinda!!

  3. Fabulous! Thanks for bringing this artist to my attention. I am not one for art history but you make it so delectable. His designs are exquisite. I can’t imagine the 100 ft canvas. That would be an awesome sight to behold. I have always wanted to learn italian. it is such an elegant language. Thanks Belinda for the eye candy.

  4. I adore Klimt, this artist is like him but WOW such beautiful colors! Where have I been that I’ve never come across this! Thank you for enlightening us 🙂 I just Love looking at your pictures in this post = super and SO inspiring!!!!

  5. Great post. I feel smarter now. Thanks!

    Jill in Florida

  6. kathy mcelroy

    Very interesting read. Your blog is always interesting and entertaining.

  7. herrliche bilder hat er gemalt! bin begeistert von seinen mustern. und der farbwahl. erinnerte mich auch gleich an klimt, doch anders. wie tina ist das 30-m-gemälde schwer vorstellebar, würde es auch zu gerne sehen. wann fahren wir nach venedig? die hälfte wäre dann ja schon der anfang! 🙂

  8. thank you so much for the colorful and enlightening words on this artist. klimt is an old friend but his followers are unknown to me . you give inspiration in so many ways. its always a treat. lyle

  9. Oh WOW Belinda…. I just love, love, love this guys work. Thanks so much for bringing him to my attention. I love the way you research all of these artists etc. and enlighten us. Your blog is always such an exciting place to visit.
    I’ve got to get my fabrics out and have a play after seeing this (obviously may need some new fabrics too!!!!)

  10. Gorgeous!!!! Thank you for all the research and bringing this artist to our attention. He is no longer unknown to me. I love the Spring meadow dress, so brilliant. And so inspiring.

  11. Thanks for bringing the Artist to me.
    This is my first time know about him and his beautiful works. Really amaze me.
    Love the colourful and gorgeous pattern (even with the circle and dots) …huh

  12. annietavries

    How very inspiring!!! Happy I dropped by again!

  13. Oh Belinda!!! You made my day! I think I just died and gone to heaven! DELICIOUS POST!!!!

  14. Such beauty. Thank you for the Art history lesson. So beautifully done.


  15. Wie immer so inspirierend!!! Klasse! Vielen Dank für deine Kommentare auf meinem Blog – freue mich immer von dir zu lesen!!! Sonnige Grüße aus Deutschland! geisslein

  16. What a brilliant art history lesson!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you so much.

  17. I love my art and yet I had never heard of Vittorio Zecchin!!! What an amazing talent this man had. I hope he was appreciated during his lifetime for the beauty he brought into this world. Belinda, thank you, you’ve left me in awe of this man………….
    Lindy – Australia

  18. Hi – I’m blown away by the beauty of this man’s work also ans so much want a print to put in my house but can’t find one –

  19. Hi – I’m blown away by the beauty of this man’s work also ans so much want a print to put in my house but can’t find one – can anyone point me in a good direction to track one down?
    Many thanks for any suggestions,
    Sarah x

  20. This is my first visit to your blog, and I will be back. In fact, I’m adding Bel’s Nook to my list of daily reads right now. I love art history and did not know of this Zecchin, but with my fondness for intricate design, collage, and color, this artist is a new favorite. I’d like to try a collage in his style. Thank you so much for this lovely post.

  21. I found this site whilst looking for info on Zecchin.
    Im looking for some inspiration for a new project to work in oils, and I love his detailed work and method using pattern and colour.
    Thanks for your site.

  22. Wonderful post! What luscious images! The fashion is beautiful too!

  23. Jack Crisp esq

    if you like this guy check out the works of one Galileo Chini a native of Florence and presently sharing exhibition space with the afore mentioned Zecchin currently running in Ca’Pesaro Venice. This is co-insides with the Klimt exhibition in Museo Correr in Venice.

  24. Hello, after reading this remarkable paragraph i
    am also glad to share my familiarity here with colleagues.

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  26. Andrew Henricksen

    This is great. I picked up a poster of his from a conference rubbish bin in 1989, and loved it so much that i carried it all round the world with me the last 30 years. Unfortunately i cut off the lower 2″ of the poster where the artists name was, and tried many times over the last 3 decades trying to find the artist. And here he is! Many thanks

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