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  7. Five oselle for eight hundred years of history

Five oselle for eight hundred years of history

With the aid of the association ‘Amici dell’Università di Padova’ (Friends of the University of Padua), the University has chosen to give new impetus to the tradition of the Oselle, the customary Christmas gift of the Rector to his teaching staff, and make a collector’s special series in the five-year period from 2018-2022, dedicated to five fundamental themes of the cultural identity of the University. The project was conceived and curated by prof. Annalisa Oboe

The oselle to celebrate the eight hundred years have been entrusted to the creativity of a contemporary artist who retraces the moments that have left an indelible mark on the life of the University of Padua, using new materials and shapes. An exercise of active memory, a contemporary reinterpretation of the founding values of the University through the essential feature of art.

The Oselle for 2018 and 2019 were created by Laura de Santillana, artist and designer of the Venini glass dynasty, internationally renowned for its approach refined and minimalistic to shape and to colour.

The Oselle for 2020, 2021 and 2022 were created by Alice de Santillana, artist and designer living and working in Venice. Her path of experimentation and artistic research merges heritage and innovation.



The Christmas 2018 osella is dedicated to Galileo Galilei and restores the brilliance and luminosity of the Moon observed by Galileo in Padua in 1609 and described in his Sidereus Nuncius. It celebrates the birth of the scientific method, the rigour of an investigative procedure that associated “sense experiences” with “necessary demonstrations” for which we are still debtors to this day.

The osella, in glass blown and opened by hand, was made by Simone Cenedese in Murano.

It is enclosed by a precious fabric offered by Rubelli, a well-established Venetian company founded in 1858.

The osella for Christmas  2019, with its stripped-down and bright lines, mimics  the captivating layout  of  the anatomical theatre, established by Girolamo Fabrici d’Acquapendente; it celebrates the development of modern medical science in Padua.
The Osella, made of glass and gold leaf, was manufactured by Simone Cenedese in Murano.

The fabric it is wrapped in, is a generous donation from Francesca Fontana / Pegaso srl.

The osella for Christmas 2020 is animated by organic and sinuous shapes, which recall the veins of a leaf, a feather, but also the pages of an open book, to celebrate Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia, the first woman graduate in the modern world (1678).
The Osella, made in feathered glass, was manufactured by Simone Cenedese in Murano.

The Osella for Christmas 2021 is a celebration of freedom, of the libertas in whose name the University of Padua was established eight centuries ago and which is the cornerstone of its scientific, educational, cultural and social mission. Bright and transparent, it is imbued with a blood-red stain, a symbol of life but also of the sacrifice of academics and students who gave their lives for freedom. The petals of a poppy emerge from the red glass, a flower of remembrance and a symbol of the Resistance to Nazi-Fascism, for which the University of Padua was awarded the gold medal for military valour in 1945.

The osella was produced by Simone Cenedese in Murano. The chosen technique combines plate processing with the glass casting process.
The cloth that wraps “Libertas” was generously donated by Redaelli Velluti – Marzotto lab.The fabric it is wrapped in, is a generous donation from Redaelli Velluti – Marzotto lab.

2022- 1222
The Osella for Christmas 2022 is dedicated to the foundation of the University eight centuries ago, when Padua welcomed students and professors fleeing the Alma Mater of Bologna in search of greater  freedom of study and thought. The Osella recalls the starry skies that have watched over the university and the city since 1222, as depicted in the medieval Padua pictorial cycles recognized by the Unesco World Heritage.
The osella, in blown glass and submerged 24-carat gold leaf with cold-ground star engraving on the surface, was produced by Wave Murano Glass s.r.l. in Murano.
The fabric that wraps “1222” has been generously provided by Redaelli Velluti – Marzotto Lab.