How to recognize original Badioli sculptures – Expert View
Mario Badioli is one of the most passionate and innovative contemporary glass artists in Murano, Italy. The work of Mario Badioli honors the ancient tradition of Murano glass making, while giving a modern twist to it. As a fellow artists in Murano described the work of Mr. Badioli “There are many people in Murano making Murano glass, but only a few are true artisans. Mario Badioli is a true artisan creating spectacular masterpieces”.
Mario Badioli began his career in the early 1950s at a furnace in Murano. The world of ancient art glass making, its secrets, charm and creative atmosphere mesmerized the young Badioli. Mastering the art of glass-making became not only his profession, but his passion. He puts his heart and soul into his creations, giving body to the imagination through spectacular colors and shapes.
As the world-wide fame of Mario Badioli increased during the years so did the number of people even Murano based furnaces (!), who try to replicate the most successful and world-wide well known collection of Mr. Badioli, the Venetian Picasso Head Collection. This article helps you to recognize original Badioli sculptures by explaining the four main characteristics of his craftsmanship.
The distinctive key features of original Badioli Murano glass sculptures are the followings:
1. High quality finishing, 65 years of craftsmanship:
- On the left hand side you can see a fake Badioli sculpture, while on the right hand side a real Mario Badioli sculpture is displayed
- Note the difference in finishing e.g. the precision with which the eyes, eyelashes, contour of the lips were created (arrow 1 and 2)
- Look at the differences in dimensions e.g. the replica is disproportional, flat while the real sculpture is proportional and displays three dimensions (arrow 3)
- Observe the color differences of the two sculptures. The colors must be vivid and intense, making the sculpture come alive (arrow 4)
2. Beautiful colors:
- Like great painters, Mr. Badioli uses a special mix of colors (glass powders) to obtain the final signature colors of the sculptures.
- Observe how the how the sunlight makes the colors come alive
3. The original Badioli Factor:
- Badioli’s creations can come in many colors and shapes, but they all have one thing in common: the Badioli Factor. The Badioli Factor is the little twist, the little something, the ‘je ne sais pa’ of the sculptures that makes all his creations so special
4. Signature and certificate of origin:
- Original Badioli sculptures are signed by the artist and you can find the sticker of the atelier on them (displayed in the image). Furthermore, a certificate of origin is provided in the form of the internationally recognized Vetro Artistico Murano sticker placed on the sculpture.
5. Authentic Badioli seal (since 2015):
- The final element which defines an authentic Badioli sculpture is the Badioli Murano seal hot printed directly on the glass. In the summer of 2015 Badioli has established this additional proof of authenticity. On the side you will be able to see the seal normally imprinted on the right-bottom corner of each Picasso Head.
- The distinctive key features of an original Badioli sculptures are: (1) signature of the artist (2) sticker of Atelier Badioli (3) international authenticity certificate in the form of the Vetro Artistico Murano sticker and (4) the Badioli seal. If you miss any of those elements, there is a high probability that the sculpture is fake
- It is important to note that the Badioli seal was introduced in the summer of 2015. Any sculpture, which was made before that time won’t have the seal
In case you are unsure if the given Mario Badioli sculpture is real or fake, you can see the real collection of Mario Badioli in the “Picasso Heads” Badioli catalogue on ArtWeShop. This catalogue is the official artist primer for the techniques and styles of Badioli glass sculptures. You may want to refer back to it when you are looking at factory catalogs.