The Techniques of Renaissance Venetian-Style Glassworking
by William Gudenrath
Between about 1500 and 1725, Venice was nearly the sole supplier of fine luxury glass to the royal and aristocratic, the wealthy and powerful, throughout Europe. The Venetian government went to extreme measures to protect its lucrative and prestigious monopoly by isolating the highly skilled workers on the nearby island of Murano and severely restricting their movements. However, with the promise of personal freedom and the hope of fortune, they gradually fled the lagoon to set up workshops in a variety of locations on the Continent and in England.
The story of the spread of Venetian-style glassworking during the Renaissance is essentially a narrative of intellectual-property loss and of bold entrepreneurship. This e-book focuses on the idiosyncratic techniques developed by these Venetian craftsmen, newly untethered from their homeland, and explores their artistic creativity and technical innovation.