Fulvio Bianconi was born in Padova on August 27th 1915 to Emo and Elvira Bianconi. His father was a musician, his mother a homemaker. His sister Lidia was born a few years later. From a very young age, Fulvio showed an inclination towards drawing. When his mother read, in a local newspaper, an add looking for "a young man with a keen predisposition for drawing and visual arts..", she exclaimed: "Oh, they are looking for Fulvio". That's how the young Fulvio Bianconi won a scholarship that enabled him to be accepted in the Carmini convent. From the age of 16 to 17 he worked as an apprentice decorator in the Murano furnaces, an experience that was to be proven precious in the future. He married Bruna, a girl from Venice, and after the birth of their first born girl, Maria, "Marieto" as they affectionately called her, the young Bianconi family started touring northern Italy, especially the Veneto and Istria regions, decorating churches and painting portraits.
In 1933, Fulvio met Dino Villani, who immediately understood his artistic and expressive potential, and introduced him to Mondadori, Motta, GI.VI.M and other important Milanese companies. During the war, he worked for the Ministery of Popular Culture, until 1943, miraculously escaping the Nazi killings of Rasella street. After the armistice, he continued his work as a graphic designer with various publishers, ending up at Garzanti's, with whom he was to work continuously until 1975 and, after that, for their more important editions, until after 1990.
Fulvio Bianconi, "designer of the Seven Leagues" - as Alfonso Gatto wrote in the preface to the book "Fulvio Bianconi's drawings" (published by Garzanti)-, multi-faceted, always on the look-out for new forms of artistic expression, first came to glass and to Murano in 1947, with an assignment by GI.VI.M. to design bottles for a series of perfumes, at the Venini furnace, where the bottles were to be subsquently produced. It was then that the passion, the "hobby", as he himself called it, for glass, was born, a hobby that was to make him famous all over the world. A passion that, especially after Venini's death, in 1959, was initially not well accepted by the Murano furnaces, where he used to go to create different glass objects with his own hands; and this because they were reluctant to make things different from their usual production of lamps, mirrors, vases, drinking glasses, beads etc...
His passion for glass and the financial independence his work at Garzanti gave him, allowed Fulvio Bianconi to create, with absolute freedom of expression, with no ties and obligations to any commissioner, hundreds and hundreds of glass "unique examples" which constitute the intrinsic basis of Murano's reputation as a place of production of artistic glass.
As he himself wrote, "...then the artistic glass has to be unique, if it is repeated it loses its charm"
Bruno Munari, in the preface of the book "Bianconi's glass objects", writes: "When Bianconi has a certain number of sketches and notes relative to glass, he travels to Murano where, in some furnaces, the master glassmakers are waiting to work with him.
Bianconi's words again: "...it is a very rare thing for a person to have so much free time, like I do"
Fulvio Bianconi has been the artist who, creating in glass the Venetian Carnival and Commedia dell' Arte characters, was the first to portray human beings in glass, thus breaking the tradition of glass being a secondary materian as far as artistic expression is concerned.
A believer in the maximum creative freedom of the artist, with absolutely no ties to ierarchy nor industrial clichés, he always liked to plunge in person into the creative process.
Again Bruno Munari, in the preface of the book "Bianconi's glass": "He likes go directly in the furnace and work together with the master glassmaker, and such is his passion and energy that he is able to enter into the glassmaker's spirit and makes him work accordi