Glass Reflections
Cambridge 7th to 9th September

Presenting Author:
Elena Granuzzo

article posted 28 Apr 2015

Elena Granuzzo

Elena Granuzzo , graduate in Sources and Methods of Art History at the University of Padua (2003), specialized in Art History and Minor Arts (University of Padova, 2006) , PhD in History and Criticism of Art (2010), has focused on the history of architecture , especially seventh - nineteenth century , and on prominent men of culture of the time such as Giovanni Poleni , Carlo Lodoli , Tommaso Temanza , Cicognara Leopoldo , Giuseppe Jappelli . Her interests are also directed to investigate aspects of the history of art collection, mostly seventh-nineteenth .

Her research has appeared in magazines such as "Studi Veneziani", "Arte Lombarda" , "Arte Veneta", " Horti Hesperidum", "Paratesto", "La Bibliofilia", in volumes such as I disegni di Andrea Palladio, edited by M.E. Avagnina , G.C.F. Villa (Milan 2007) and on numerous Acts of national and international conferences.

She is currently a research fellow at the University of Padua.

Glass Reflection in Venice in the XVIII and XIX centuries

Elena Granuzzo
University of Padua

It is known that the history of glass has always been intertwined with the history of science, art, and Venetian collectibles. Items of Renaissance and Baroque glassware, which were distinguished by their technical refinement, decorative virtuosity and daring colors, constituted the most valuable part of entire collections, then going to be part of major European and American museums. The seventeenth century is the century of the diaspora of Murano glassmakers, who went abroad to produce Ó la fašon de Venise, also to respond to the severe economic crisis that hit the city, while in the 70s and 80s Bohemian glass began to appear on the markets. But the Murano glassmakers are very popular in Europe: since the sixteenth century we can talk about dynasties of glassmakers. In addition to Barovier, Dal Gallo and Serena, we can remember, among others, i Ballarin, i Bortolussi, i Dragani, i Mozetto, i Della Pigna. In this period, too, Bohemian competition has become a problem. The Murano entrepreneur Giuseppe Briati (1686-1772) manages to establish himself by adapting to the times: he takes possession of the secrets of Bohemian glass and he adapts production to the Venetian imagination; he invents the famous crystal chandeliers, decorated with garlands, leaves and flowers polychrome (his splendid specimen is exposed to the Museum of Ca 'Rezzonico, Venice). He gets permission to open a factory in Venice, where he also produces carved frames and mirrors, as well as large table centerpieces and many other fashionable items, including furniture inlaid with glass. Another witness to the taste of the typical are the fixe sous verre, or etchings painted and then glued on glass, with gallant scenes inspired by the contemporary works of the Venetian painter Pietro Longhi. Renowned glassmakers of the eighteenth century are the successors of Giuseppe Briati (Giacomo Giandolin, Lorenzo Rossetto,Zuane Gastaldello), Vittorio Mestre, Antonio Motta,Vincenzo Moretti. Also in the eighteenth century various types of glasses, so-called "camouflage" ,have particular luck in Murano, that is manufactured so as to simulate other materials. This then is the opal glass, imitating opal; the "lattimo", which imitates porcelain; the "calcedonio", opaque variegated glass, red transparent, with polychrome veins, which mimics semiprecious stones such as agate zoned, onyx, malachite, lapis lazuli.

Now, the questions we want to answer with this work are: how technical innovations are perceived by artists, "vedutisti", collectors, dealers, connoisseurs, men of culture, in the eighteenth and nineteenth century? How technical achievements were implemented and disseminated, for example by an art connoisseur as Francesco Algarotti in the Newtonianismo per le Dame: ovvero Dialoghi sopra la luce, i colori, e l'attrazione or in the Dialoghi sopra l?ottica newtoniana, in a time in which more and more attention was great for Newton, for light, refraction, and optical science in general? What did scientists such as Antonio Conti, or Giovanni Poleni write about it? Which items, which materials and techniques are found mostly in Venetian private collections? Of course, to answer these questions, we'll study of a lot of documentation, edited and even more unusually, preserved in major archives and libraries of Venice. World Venetian was intrigued by so much news and so much beauty, and all the cultural world was in turmoil before discoveries, experiments, technical-scientific definitions intended to mark a fundamental chapter in the history of glass, and to open the way of modernity.