Ar­ti­stic glass in Mu­ra­no

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Glass­ma­king had al­rea­dy be­co­me an in­te­gral part of li­fe in the Ve­ne­tian la­goon in the 7th cen­tu­ry B.C. Fur­ther­mo­re, af­ter the year 1000 A.D. its pro­duc­tion had be­co­me so im­por­tant that it was pro­tec­ted by spe­ci­fic la­ws and all the glass work­shops we­re mo­ved to Mu­ra­no. It was he­re that eye­glas­ses we­re in­ven­ted in the 13th cen­tu­ry and he­re that, in 1369, mir­rors be­gan to be pro­du­ced. Glass was a ra­re com­mo­di­ty th­rou­ghout the Re­nais­san­ce: it was on­ly in 1827 that pro­duc­tion on an in­du­strial le­vel be­gan. At that point, blo­wn glass or glass pro­du­ced by lam­p­wor­king be­ca­me a hi­ghly pri­zed ma­te­rial used for ar­ti­stic pur­po­ses, achie­ving its height of splen­dor du­ring the Art Nou­veau pe­riod. Ar­tists in­clu­ding La­li­que, Dam­mou­se and Tif­fa­ny sought out the glas­sblo­wers of Mu­ra­no to pro­du­ce their fa­mous works. Du­ring the mid-20th cen­tu­ry, real ma­sters of the art be­gan to emer­ge in Mu­ra­no in­clu­ding Si­gno­ret­to, Bal­la­rin, Za­net­ti and Vidal and their works are true col­lec­tors' items whi­ch are of­ten di­splayed at museums. Mu­ra­no to­day has nu­me­rous glass fac­to­ries, se­ve­ral of whi­ch boa­st an age-old hi­sto­ry or a li­st of par­ti­cu­lar­ly pre­sti­gious col­la­bo­ra­tions (i.e. Ve­ni­ni).

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