Magritte: Barovier&Toso’s Surrealist Lighting Collection

General / People / Places / Products / July 15, 2022

“Banish the already seen from the mind and seek the unseen” is one famous motto from the revolutionary painter René Magritte. He’s often considered to be one of the fathers of Surrealism – the artistic and literary movement that began in the 1920s. The Magritte collection from Barovier&Toso takes its inspiration from his revolutionary spirit, breaking engineering barriers to create a magical feat of illumination. A+A recently interviewed Daniela Sarracco, the company’s marketing and communication manager, about its new collection unveiled at this year’s Milan Design Week:

Some background on the collection?

A theatrical and elegant collection of chandeliers and wall sconces, Magritte pays homage to the fantastical work of its namesake, Surrealist painter René Magritte. As in the cultural movement, the dreamlike imagery that dominated the painter’s work formed a major inspiration in the design of Magritte. Available in a myriad of sizes and colors, Magritte is a stunning work of art exuding pure elegance. Its unmatched, complex symmetrical design was a feat of engineering realized by the 700-year-old, Murano-based Italian lighting manufacturer. Mimicking a cloud of light and crystal, Magritte chandeliers emanate freedom of imagination.

What’s surreal about this collection?

As in Surrealism, illusion plays a major role. The Magritte collection takes inspiration from the movement’s avant-garde nature, even appearing to float in the air thanks to an innovative ceiling attachment that gives it an ethereal appeal. In addition, its unique structural essence features a central core that gives way to a modular apparatus of individual units – a first for the 700-year-old brand. Like satellites, the bases multiply and welcome groups of crystal arms, allowing the light to gravitate and present as a twinkling, celestial body of glass – reminiscent of Magritte’s otherworldly works of art.

The design intent?

With the Magritte collection, the starting point was conceptual. The process then morphed into research on how to properly develop the product – this involved deconstructing the design of a chandelier to its most basic form and then challenging the established tenets of classic lighting design. Our intent was to create a symmetrical design that was breathtaking in nature yet complex in its simplicity. Each part of the design is intricately related to another, all revolving around a novel radial modular design.

The material palette?

Venetian crystal, metal suspension cords, and a metal canopy, which connects Magritte to the ceiling.

The target market?

Our target market is high-end residential, hospitality, and commercial clients. From discerning individual collectors and homeowners, to five star hotels, our clients are drawn to the allure and prestige of our historic 700-year-old brand and appreciate the complexity and beauty of our groundbreaking Venetian crystal lighting.

 The scale and proportion?

The Magritte chandelier is available in variously sized models according to the number of bulbs – 24, 36, or 48. A departure from the vertical, multi-leveled extension of a typical chandelier, Magritte is characterized by horizontal, radial growth. The collection also includes a wall sconce.

How does this collection fit into the context of the overall lighting line?

After being at the forefront of Venetian crystal lighting design for over seven centuries, we continue to apply our experience and expertise to new illuminating ventures so tradition and innovation can move forward as one. The Magritte collection is emblematic of this dual pursuit of beauty and modernization. Every design at Barovier&Toso exudes a timeless appeal.

For more, go here.

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Michael Welton
I write about architecture, art, and design for national and international publications. I am the author of "Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand" (Routledge, 2015), and the former architecture critic for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.




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