Once the main mode of transportation in Venice, gondolas are immediately thought of as a romantic activity, riding down narrow canals with breeze in your hair, enjoying live music with your loved one.
Gondolas themselves aren’t cheap to buy, with most gondoliers forking out 40,000 to 50,000 Euros to purchase one. Gondoliers usually come from a family of gondoliers and their love and passion for gondolas are passed down and they carry a pride as cultural icons of a city they love.
Lladró has been fascinated by Gondolas and have made many renditions throughout the years. It’s natural parallels with love and romanticism creates an interesting vehicle for expressionistic scenes. The opulent image of gondolas and their history with aristocrats and the upper echelon of society means that the Lladró artisans have the license to add more decoration and details to bring the gondolas to life.
These showstoppers are the cumulation of the artisans’ expertise and technical skill as each tests the limit of what can be achieved. After all, it’s a big gamble when each piece is placed in the kiln - after many hours of work, it could all warp or shrink disproportionately, and they’d have to destroy it as there is no way of rescuing a defective piece.
Each flower is made petal by petal, read more here.
The piece the resistance is the Gondola in Venice. If you think that you’ve seen it before, you have, in the Carnival in Venice.
The Carnival in Venice is the greatest artistic and most technical piece that Lladró has ever made, measuring 144cm wide by 91cm in length, and 85 cm in height, it’s larger than some dining tables. This creation took 5 years of research, 35 artists and 22,000 hours to complete. The Carnival in Venice is made in 450 fragments, and only 100 numbered pieces were made.
The Gondola in Venice is the centrepiece in this creation, made in the identical Italian commedia dell’arte style. Gondolas and gondoliers are instrumental in Venetian culture and they are icons of an opulent lifestyle. The culture and mode of transportation has been an icon for more than 1000 years, however there is still a lot of mystery behind the trade. Black coloured gondolas date back to the 1560s when Doge Girolamo Pruili banned colourful gondolas for regular use (colourful gondolas are used for regattas).
This piece doesn’t just highlight the artistry behind the art of porcelain, it also gives a sense of romanticism, the alluring memory of the city of canals. The Gondola in Venice is limited to 500 pieces and is made in glazed porcelain, finished with a colouring that includes very intense tones and exquisite floral ornamentation. Discover how Lladro makes their signature flowers.
Venus, the Roman goddess of love, takes a ride in a romantic gondola, attended by two lovely cupids. One cupid holds a bow and the other is rowing the gondola with a wooden stick. Venus is decorated in subtle pastel colours, in a gondola that has an elaborately decorated canopy with two heart shaped cut-outs, floral spires and plush seat. She’s surrounded with more than 10 bunches of flowers, and holding one cluster of flowers whilst appreciating the beauty of it. The goddess wears a white toga dress and crown.
The Gondola of Love has elements of romance layered into this piece.