Toso Chess Set

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Chess Set, created by Italian glass artist Gianni Toso. In this whimsical, yet functional, chess set, a Jewish rabbi and a Roman Catholic bishop (the two kings) join a group of holy men and women holding Judeo-Christian symbols of faith, including crosses, Torahs, menorahs, and candles. Each chess piece has the appropriate costume, hairstyle, and accessory of its rank. Gianni Toso uses the metaphor of the game of chess to comment, with humor and tolerance, on the often controversial topic of religion. Toso is best known for his carefully observed scenes, drawn from everyday life, that are made of numerous, highly detailed figurines. He is also a respected maestro who has influenced artists working in the technique of flameworking in the United States and abroad.