Ruskii and Ruskii Twist by Enrico Zanolla for Viso

When one can use the expression “Ruskii” as a friendly homage, it must signify that we’ve come a long way, geopolitically speaking, that is. The term, formerly the province of cold war politicos and satirists, is precisely that chosen by designer Enrico Zanolla to characterize his new pendant lamps—Ruskii and Ruskii Twist, both of which were inspired by Moscow’s impressive St. Basil cathedral.

Ruskii Pendant Lamps. Designed by Enrico Zanolla. Manufactured by Viso.

Viso’s Ruskii Pendants Recall the Arcane Architecture of Old Moscow

Manufactured by Viso, both Ruskii and compatriot Ruskii Twist reflect the architecture of this iconic monument. The cathedral—commonly known as St. Basil’s but more properly referred to as “Pokrovsky Cathedral” or the impressively verbose “Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat”—is a monument to the military prowess of Ivan the Terrible, who vanquished Kazan and Astrakhan before ordering the cathedral’s construction in 1555.

Ruskii Pendant Lamps. Designed by Enrico Zanolla. Manufactured by Viso.

The real affair is a carnivalesque extravaganza of towering multi-colored spires that seem to dance and twist and aspire to the heavens through some impetus unseen. Indeed, St. Basil’s is so strange and wondrous it’s no surprise it took some 450+ years to attempt an homage.

Zanolla, however, has done right by this monument to Western civilization. His pair of pendant lamps matches St. Basil’s twin spires with anatomical precision. Says the designer, “We paid great attention to the details and quality of the realized domes.”

Ruskii Pendant Lamps. Designed by Enrico Zanolla. Manufactured by Viso.

Duplicating this particular light thus required the unrivaled but painstaking precision of the human eye and hand, as Zanolla achieved them without the assistance of 3D CAD techniques. And, indeed, Zanolla has captured the fluid, dynamic sense of the original domes—both Ruskii and Ruskii Twist seem imbued from without by a life-giving vapor.

Spiritualists might refer to this as the breath of God, but as for Zanolla, the designer makes no claims to divine intercession, crediting but the genius of the original—“they were designed like candle flames symbolizing that every man is ‘the light of the world’.”

Ruskii Pendant Lamps. Designed by Enrico Zanolla. Manufactured by Viso.

Both Ruskii and Ruskii Twist are constructed of hand-painted porcelain with a metalized exterior and interior. Options include customized drops and canopies in black, white, silver, or metallic gold.

Via MocoLoco.

About the Manufacturer: Viso Lighting likes to pose the existential question, “What is light?” Not just some physical property of positively charged microscopic particles, the company asserts, but rather “light is life… light brings life to spaces. Light affects our perception through its warmth, colour, and dimension. A changeable physicality enhances spaces, and creates strong emotional impact.” Each product in Viso’s line aspires to create this sublime experience for the viewer. Notable pieces include the iridescent Diamond Pendant, the lovely and luminous Jolie, and the sinuous sensuous Zebra Range.

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