Murano Glass

The twentieth century: the great glass masters.

The processing of Murano glass suffered a severe crisis during the nineteenth century due to both strong competition from Bohemian glass and the heavy taxation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the new ruler of Venice. Fortunately, the crisis did not last long: with the beginning of the new century, the art of Murano glass will return to its former glory.

The period of the early twentieth century was crossed by the artistic movement of Art Nouveau, better known in Italy as the Art Nouveau style. The renewed interest in Murano glass was also linked to the spread of this new artistic style: in fact, Art Nouveau will soon influence every existing art form, including the production of Murano glass.

However, it will be the exhibition at the 1914 Biennale to revive artistic creations in glass: in fact, artists such as Vittorio Toso Borella, Vittorio Zecchin, Salviati, Carlo Moretti and Seguso, the latter already honored by Gabriele D. ‘Announcement in his masterpiece “Il Fuoco” (1900).

A new glass factory, established in 1921, first established the role of artistic director: it was the Venini glass factory, known at the time as Cappellin & Venini, which chose master Vittorio Zecchin as artistic director. Venini was the first company to introduce this innovation, but the others soon followed suit.

In addition to the famous glass mosaic plates of 1914, the works of the master Zecchin in the following years were characterized by the lightness and transparency of the material, a trait that will also mark the artistic creations of Venini, which in the 1920s were worked with colored glass and transparent and then, in the 1930s, it came to pulegoso glass, or characterized by the inclusion of air bubbles (the puleghe), signed by the artist Napoleone Martinuzzi, artistic director of the company since 1931.

As a sign of the great resumption of Murano glass processing were the numerous collaborations of the artists with the glass productions of the time, such as Umberto Bellotto, Carlo Scarpa or Guido Cadorin. The participation of glass artists in exhibitions and biennials is also increasing.

The fortunate rebirth did not go through periods of crisis with the Second World War. The reinterpretation of Murano glass, its reinterpretation in the light of the changing times, remained constant. In the 1950s and 1960s, the techniques of submerged glass, composed of overlapping layers, by Flavio Poli, or heavy glass by Giulio Radi, stood out. Venini will instead make a recovery of traditional techniques, such as filigree, murrina and incalmo.

Born in more recent times, VDA Borella is part of the Murano glass processing for its innovations: the glass masters work the glass following the ancient millenary wisdom, model the most varied forms to give life to truly unique furnishing accessories . It is the combination with floral art, with stabilized roses and lichens, luxury flowers and plants, that gives the magic of nature to a design faithful to the traditional Murano glass art.