Murano Glass Museum - Fondamenta Marco Giustinian, 8 - Murano Venice
The Museum of Glass of Venice is located on the island of Murano, in the Palazzo dei Vescovi di Torcello.
The Museum is part of the Civic Museums circuit in Venice and organizes numerous art exhibitions throughout the whole calendar year.
The exhibition route runs on two floors - one of which is a mezzanine - arranged in chronological order: from the earliest evidence of glassmaking in the area from the Roman period (I-III century AD) until the twentieth century, a century full of glass masters known in the whole world for their contemporary art.
The mezzanine floor houses in the showcases of the bulletin boards most of the glass arrived in 1963 from the Museum of San Donato di Zara; consisting of findings from the excavations of the Roman imperial necropolis of Jader (Zara) and Aenona (Nona). The two localities served as an initial bridge to the East for those who left the important city of Aquileia, decisive stages towards Hungary and Greece that enjoyed a good economy until the end of the Roman Empire in the fifth century. The finds are mostly glass urns dating back to the I and II century AD. but there are also funerary objects as a side testimony of the glass period mentioned.
The section also exposes technical techniques and the tools that made glassmaking advance forever as the transition from the casting technique to that of the blown glass that was born in Palestine in the first century BC. However, the technique initially differed from that used later; in fact the blowing took place in simple or double clay or metal molds and the decoration was added in a second phase.
The other three sections of the museum that cover the centuries from the fifteenth century to the modern era open up to the first floor. In the fifteenth century, taking advantage of the crisis that underwent glass production in the Islamic world, Venice will enter the international glass market with decision: from this period is the birth of glass called crystalline for its particular purity; by the master Angelo Barovier (1405-1460). On this background of transparent glass there were many decorations which, in the following century, began to disappear, leaving room for a production that favored transparency (XVI century).
The sixteenth century was certainly the century of the triumph of Murano glass if, already in the following century, we find expatriate masters in the most important European courts that compete with the expensive products that come out of the furnaces of the lagoon island. Products that, however, at the turn of the century experienced a period of crisis for the flowering in Bohemia of a different process of glass processing that made it less fragile and easier to cut.
To close the technological gap with the Bohemian glass, Giuseppe Briati thought of it, supported by the Serenissima, he made a paste of chemical composition similar to the competition obtaining an international success: this is the time of famous world-famous chandeliers simply as chandeliers of Murano, equipped with numerous crystal arms with floral decorations and leaves.
In the eighteenth century it was the turn of the lattimo; a production that reproduced the visual effect of porcelain that was experiencing a period of great success in the court area thanks to the rococo style. But Venice is also famous for its mirrors and always for the production of blown glass of various shapes.
In the nineteenth century was the same crisis of the glass industry by the Bohemian to induce the abbot Zanetti at the opening of the Museum of Glass. With the rebirth of some glassworks, and the favorable economic environment following the unification of Venice to Italy (1866), Murano's products were soon appreciated again abroad. Recovering elements of historical tradition, including archaeological precedents to the history of Venice, the Murano glasses imposed themselves on the markets again in a path that became increasingly artistic even with the arrival in the furnaces of contemporary artists.
In the twentieth century the island saw working together characters like Ercole Barovier, Alfredo Barbini, Paolo Venini, Ludovico Diaz de Santillana and his sons Alessandro and Laura. These distinguished themselves in the creation of real works of art that nowadays compose the exhibition itineraries of exhibitions organized in the major museums of the lagoon.
In the central hall of the main floor, overlooking the facing canal, you can admire the 18th century fresco by Francesco Zugno (1709-1787) with the representation of the Triumph of San Lorenzo Giustiniani, first patriarch of Venice and ancestor of the bishop Marco Giustian here he lived from 1659.
History of the Murano Glass Museum
The Murano Glass Museum is housed in the Palazzo dei Vescovi di Torcello, once home of the Venetian nobility and then passed between the properties of the diocese of Torcello to be used as a residence of the bishop Marco Giustinian from 1659. Restored by Antonio Gaspari to the At the end of the seventeenth century the Palace remained in the diocese of Torcello until its suppression in 1805 when it first passed between the possessions of the first Patriarchate of Venice, and then to the Municipality of Murano which made it its institutional seat (1840).
The Museum opened its doors in 1861 at the behest of Abbot Zanetti, hosting over time an increasingly rich collection of findings concerning the history of the island and the art of glass making in Murano. The first nucleus of the collection, in fact belonged to the same abbot, went on expanding greatly thanks to the arrival of the Correr Museum collections in the early twentieth century and then through important gifts and legacies such as the Levi Levi 1936. A last important piece of the collection finally it came to 1963 thanks to a post-war agreement that handed over the glass of the Museum of San Donato di Zara in the former Yugoslavia to the Murano Glass Museum: a series of archaeological remains from the Roman era from the necropolis of the same town.
However, with the demographic crisis of the twentieth century that struck the lagoon islands and the consequent closure of the Municipality of Murano and the passage under the Municipality of Venice (1923), the Museum also became part of the circuit of the Venetian Civic Museums.
How to get to Murano Glass Museum
- From Piazzale Roma take Line 41 and get off at the Museo Murano stop.
- From Venezia Santa Lucia Train Station, take Line 41 and get off at the Museo Murano stop.
- From the Venice Lido take Line 51 to the Fondamenta Nuove stop, then change to Line 41 and get off at the Museo Murano stop.
Watch the Video by Venice Civic Museums of Murano Glass Museum
|Hours: from April 1st to October 31st from 10.00am to 6.00pm (admission allowed until 5.30pm); from November 1st to March 31st from 9.00am to 5.00pm (admission allowed until 4.30pm). Closed on December 25th, January 1st and May 1st.
Admission: full € 8; reduced € 5.50 (children from 6 to 14 years, chaperons (max 2) of groups of young people, students from 15 to 29 years, chaperons (maximum 2) of student groups, EU citizens over sixty-five, staff * of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, holders of Rolling Venice Card * a document is required).
Free for residents born in the Municipality of Venice; I.C.O.M. members; children from 0 to 5 years; handicapped people with a companion; licensed guides and tourist interpreters accompanying groups or individual visitors; for each group of at least 15 people, 1 free entry (only with reservation); volunteers of the Civil Service; ordinary MUVE partners; MUVE Friend Card holders.
School offer: € 4 per person (valid for the period from 1 September to 15 March) for classes of students of all levels, accompanied by their teachers, with a list of the names compiled by the institution to which they belong.
Reservation: call center 848082000 from Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 1.00pm and from 2.00pm to 6.00pm; Saturday from 9.00 to 14.00; closed on festive days.
Accessibility: stair to access the collection; large toilets.