Category: Media & Culture / April 9, 2013 11:29 AM EDT
Delicate sculptures and dramatic chandeliers shimmer under the spotlights of an exhibition telling the story of Murano glassmakers and their works, on display in central Paris.
Nearly 200 pieces drawn from public and private collections trace the history of fine glass production on the Italian island of Murano, a haven for artists in the Venetian Lagoon.
According to a Maillol Museum curator, such an exhibition is a first in France.
From the finest pieces crafted for the great families and European courts of the Renaissance, through extravagant baroque creations through to art deco and modernism of the 20th century, the exhibition follows the history of the great glassworks. A section is dedicated to contemporary works by the Studio Glass movement, which takes glass as its sole mode of expression.
Drawing on the heritage of Rome, glassmaking began to appear in the Venice region around the 10th century but really gained fame two centuries later.
It became the second most important industry in the city after shipbuilding and was transferred from Venice to Murano so that the glassmakers would not reveal the techniques of their craft.
Byzantine glass reigned supreme in Europe until the mid-15th century when Murano began to cater to the European aristocracy, producing luxury objects.
A special section of the exhibition 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.
Following in the footsteps of Arp, Cesar, Chagall and Fontana in decades past, this tradition is now stronger than ever as the second part of the exhibition dedicated to the Glass movement shows.
The exhibition at the Maillol Museum runs until July 28.
Video Source: Reuters