Murano Glass Exhibition, Maillol Museum, Paris
Murano Glass Exhibition, Maillol Museum, Paris

Murano: while the name of this charming Venetian island immediately evokes the art of glass-making, the glut of tourist produce filling the souvenir shops means that it is easy to forget the precious skills nurtured in the workshops here and the quality and splendour of the objects produced over the centuries.For the first time in France, an exhibition will chronicle the extraordinary adventure of glass in Murano, retracing seven centuries of intense creativity, from the mid-15th century to the present day. It will feature over two hundred pieces, many never or only rarely exhibited, obtained from public institutions or jealously guarded private collections.The exhibition will follow the history of the great glassworks with a selection of the finest objects made for the great families and European courts of the Renaissance – the Estes, Gonzagas and Medici –, extravagant Baroque creations and pieces from the 18th century, through to the Art Deco of the 1920s and the modernism of the 1950s, all the way to contemporary works by the Studio Glass movement, which takes glass as its sole mode of expression.A special section focuses on the international artists who have come to Murano since the 1950s to work with the master glassmakers and experiment with glass as a privileged creative material. After Arp, César, Chagall and Fontana in decades past, this tradition is now even stronger than ever: witness the “Glasstress” exhibition when, in parallel to the last two Venice Biennales, new creations by Hatoum, Othoniel, Pérez, the Recycle Group, Schütte, Shen Yuan and Wilson have been brought together at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti.UNDER THE HIGH PATRONAGE OF THE CITY OF VENICE>muranomAsterpieces of glAss from the renAissAnce to the presentmusée mAillol 27 mArch 28 July 2013marc Chagall / Egidio Costantini« Risveglio della natura »1954H43 cm ; L. 42 cm, VeniceVenice, collection Berengo©Francesco Allegretto/Adagp, Paris 2013, Chagall®Engraved dish18th centuryH9,0 cm ; D 33,0 cmPavia, Musei Civici di Pavia - Castello Visconteo©Musei Civici di Paviaarmchair with glass decorationmid-18thcenturyH117,0 cm ; L 72,0 cmVenice, Museo del Vetro©Archivio Fotografico FMCVcenturies of historyDrawing on the heritage of Rome, glassmaking began to appear on the lagoon in around the 10th century but really gained momentum in the 12th, growing into Venice’s second most important industry after the shipbuilding in the Arsenale. It was transferred to Murano, probably because of the fire risks involved, but also in order to more effectively control the master glassmakers, who were subject to draconian rules: they were not allowed to leave Venice or to export their technique, on pain of death. Byzantine glass reigned supreme in Europe until the mid-15th century. However, the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453 caused many master glassmakers to take refuge in Venice. Murano now moved its productions towards luxury in order to satisfy the European aristocracy. The Renaissance is one of the historical high points for Venetian glass. Murano dominated glass production up to the end of the 17th century, which saw the beginning of a relative decline.Still, other golden ages awaited the glass workshops: in the mid-19th century, the 1920s, and the early 1950s. Today, artists from all around the world come to work with the master glassmakers to produce pieces embodying an excellence founded on centuries of tradition.A chronologicAl sequenceThe exhibition will be presented in a chronological sequence, offering an immediate sense of the main technical and stylistic developments. Alongside the often spectacular masterpieces groups of glasses, decanters, centrepieces, precious objects and pieces of furniture in glass paste illustrate the tastes and fashions of each period. They evoke the history of glassmaking and design in Venice, and, more generally, that of the decorative arts and tableware in Europe. Showcased by Hubert Le Gall’s exhibition design, this rich collection of works reveals the different techniques, the know-how and the inexhaustible creativity of these master glassmakers whose talent is dedicated to beauty in both the everyday and the exceptional.recycle Group« Way »2011H120,0 cm ; L 235,0 cm ; P 300,0 cmGlass, metal, electrical driveProduced by Berengo Studio and Venice Projects

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