Museo del Vetro

  • Il Vetro a Lume

    by Mauro Vianello

    Murano Glass Museum
    Brandolini Room
    25 June – 23 October 2016

Glass Museum

IL VETRO A LUME by Mauro Vianello

Visit the exhibition

Opening hours
10 am – 6 pm
last admission at 5 pm



Murano, Museo del Vetro
Brandolini Room
25 June – 23 October 2016


Fondazione Musei Civici of Venice’s exhibitions in Murano Glass Museum will continue for the 2016 summer with the exhibition Il Vetro a Lume (Lampworking), with works and the organization of Mauro Vianello. This exhibition will take place in the Brandolini Room from June 25th to October 23rd.

The exhibition revolves around the manufacture of Lampworking  (blown and not), an ancient art that today has an extraordinary and universally acknowledged technique that allows the creation of a variety of works that couldn’t have been obtained in the furnace and that therefore, require hard work and uncommon skills.

The objects that were suited for this typology of glass-working -that reached its technical and aesthetic  ‘apogee’  during 19th century- were pearls and their production engaged a great part of the labour that took part in this activity. From their creation and decoration originated all of these objects that had a massive diffusion during 19th century: from perfume flasks or salt containers to adorn ladies’ belts, to the sophisticated and complex art of millefiori and figurative murrine, in which excelled the personality of relevance that was Giacomo Franchini (active approximately during the mid century) that, even with the limited processing means, he realized figurative canes of such sophisticated technical virtuosity that rivaled the ones of the most expert figurative miniaturists.

Amongst the most complex subjects made with this technique there is without doubt the work know as “glass zoo” -having as subjects animals-, of which the production reached its peak during the 20th century. There are also other examples of blown lampworking in the déco period in Venice, influenced by the  nord European works, that represent swans, storks, deers and various animals, all worked with the technique of blown glass and mercury silver.

In 19th century the realization of animals and botanic subjects had mostly a didactic purpose and were intended to be exposed in natural history museums and universities that, for those species, mostly marine (since they couldn’t be stuffed they had to be necessarily realised with another technique that reproduced the complex shapes and peculiar colours) found their optimum exactly in lampworking.

The pioneers of this activity were the Bohemians Blaschka: Leopold (1822-1895) and his son Rudolf (1857-1939), who achieved their subjects -mollusc and all kinds of marine invertebrates amongst which stand out, for vividness, the complex and numerous species of jellyfish -based on zoologists’ and botanists’ designs, that were reproduced in the three dimensions.

In Venice there are many masters that stood out in the realization of lampworking. Amongst the ones that dedicated their greater efforts in the creation of naturalistic works, with all individual solutions, the Venetian. Muranese by adoption, Mauro Vianello (1968) – glass artisan-artist and great studious of Blaschka’s art- stands out. This exhibition presents a selection of works that can be defined in continuity and inspired by the Bohemians’ art, but that are also realized integrating  Venetian culture. Especially in the use of colours, inspired by the pictorial art of the great Venetian renaissance art and by Muranese glassware between 19th and 20th century.

It is the complex chromatic effects used in the moment of rebirth and creativity of Muranese art that Vianello makes his own -from aventurine and aquamarine or ruby, merged together with other polishes and adding sometimes gold and silver leaves- and thanks to that merging of colors his personal ‘habitat’ made of glass animals, often marine, comes to life, restoring all the beauty and allurement of an incredible local craft.