Venini played a trait d’union role between the blown glass world and the design one, thanks to his peculiar history too: the company was in fact founded in the 1920s by a Milanese lawyer, Paolo Venini, who has first managed with the business partner Giacomo Cappellini and then in total autonomy. The first two artistic directors had an artistic education: the painter Vittorio Zecchin and the sculptor Napoleone Martinuzzi.
Many of the big classics designed in this period are still among the icons of the company, such as the refined vase Veronese of Vittorio Zecchin and the coloured vase Opalino. Other timeless Venini vases are the unmistakable vase Fazzoletto, designed by Fulvio Bianconi in the second postwar, and the vase Balloton, with the characteristic manufacturing technique. Dated in the ’30s the collaboration with Carlo Scarpa, author between the other things of the well-known series of Murrine.
Other fruitful relationship was the Gio Ponti’s one, who drew the well-known chandelier 99.80. The interest for the design wasn’t abandoned either after the death of Paolo Venini and the passage of the company to the son-in-law Ludovico Diaz de Santillana: in the following years the series of vases Bolle of Tapio Wirkkala was created. In the ’80s Venini was taken over by the families Gardini and Ferruzzi, while today the company is guided by the famous jewellers family Damiani.