The Italian Almanac

Murano Glass


From Renaissance nuptial goblets to a spiderweb sculpture by contemporary artist Mona Hatoum, nearly 1,000 years of history are spanned at the exhibition 'Fragile: Murano, Masterpieces from the Renaissance to the 21st Century' in Paris. The show, on now through July 28 at the Musee' Maillol, features 200 items from the most historic glass dynasties in Murano, such as Barovier, Ferro, Serena, all of which are still active in the Venetian lagoon.

Special focus is awarded to works commissioned for the most important families from the courts of Europe - such as the Estes, Gonzagas, and the Medicis - as well as to distinctive creative styles from the Baroque, Art Deco, modernist and contemporary movements, such as the 20th-century Studio Glass movement. One section of the show is reserved for formidable international artists of the 20th and 21st centuries who experimented with glass-blowing in Murano at moments in their careers, such as Marc Chagal, Lucio Fontana, Cesar Baldaccini, Jan Fabre and Jean-Michel Othoniel.

"Today there is a revaluation of Murano glass, long forgotten, even considered second-rate," say the curators in their exhibition statement. "Part of the blame rests on Italian scholars, among the first to neglect this part of art history. The aim of this exhibition is to arouse interest in the heritage of Venetian glass".