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Dale Chihuly

Cobalt and Gold Leaf Venetian
blue glass with gold leaf
22 x 19 x 19 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Partial and promised gift of Elmerina and Paul Parkman

Cobalt and Gold Leaf Venetian incites a sensuous riot. The intense cobalt blue glass of this vessel, when lighted, glows with life. Adding to its brilliance is the gold leaf, which concentrates in some areas to suggest pollen floating on water. Dale Chihuly further embellishes the glass with applied leaflike projections that overwhelm the underlying form. The piece is unabashedly exuberant in its decorativeness. Chihuly's Venetian series pays tribute to the glass-making traditions practiced in Venice since the fourteenth century.