The Eternal Temptation Project
Eternal Temptation is a masterpiece of its genre. Lucio devoted a year to it to the exclusion of almost all else, and it marks both a high point and a milestone in his career.
Lucio’s “magnum opus” is comprised of three parts, two of which represent Inferno and Paradiso. Inferno is on the right, Paradiso is on the left, both are designed with matching symmetry. The third part is positioned in the center; its demonic figures represent the tortured soul of the artist. The three chandeliers carry the viewer’s gaze upwards and add height to the ensemble. The remaining scenery is comprised of a series of columns and lidded vessel forms each terminating in a mask or finial of some sort.
The cast of characters, whose every body part Lucio deems is of equal importance and relates to the whole, came to life in his studio on Murano at a simple work station. It is there where coloured blobs of glass are transformed through lampworking into the figures for which he is known the world over.
The series of blown vessel forms and chandeliers (of varying thickness) were produced in three different glass workshops, with one exception: the small lampwork vessel with a nude male figure at its centre. This small footed vessel is the composition’s focal point and the only vessel form entirely produced by Lucio. Finally, enamel painting was applied to the surfaces of the blown glass central vessels in Paradiso and Inferno.
Lucio’s highly personal vision of Inferno and Paradiso is rooted in first-hand experience. The myriad thoughts that excited his imagination in preparation for the project come together to define that one big idea, his grasp of which served as a constant reference as he developed the detailed elements. His careful use of the words Inferno and Paradiso, as opposed to synonyms, is deliberate. Lucio is, of course, referring to Dante’s epic poems and his reading of them, but inspiration was found in Gustave Doré’s illustrations of the Divine Comedy.