Artistic glass in Murano
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).