In-between tradition and innovation, Pietro Melandri developed a unique technique in collaboration with the chemist Ottorino Paoli to obtain the iridescent effect with golden tones of this vase. The lustre technique requires the application of special composites, which may include iron for bronze effects, bismuth for pearlescent effects or silver nitrate to enhance the brightness and create metallic mirror effects, as well as a complex cooking technique. This procedure emerged for the first time in Mesopotamia in the ninth century BC, and spread during the following century throughout the Mediterranean basin.
This Vaso of 1931 exemplifies Melandri's modern interpretation of the classical amphora, in particular his reading of familiar forms and themes in oneiric terms. The marine universe, represented by the creatures that populate the iridescent surface and the couple of dolphins that form the delicate handles, evoke a unique imaginary suspended between myth and allegory.
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