Venetian Style

The first Venetian glass maker in documentary records is a Benedictine monk, Domenico. In 982 he was described as a fiolario , a maker of phials. At the time Venice was closely allied with the Byzantine Empire politically and as a trading partner. The conquest of Constantinople in 1204 opened up the practices of glass producers in that great imperial city that had been passed down through the centuries from the original Roman glassworkers. By 1255 at Venice there were enough craftsmen to form a guild and blowing techniques were refined, more than anywhere else in Europe. By 1291 glassmakers had become virtual prisoners on the island of Murano in the Venetian lagoon. Insulated and isolated from contacting those who might divulge production secrets, in this way Venice became the leading source for fine glassware for over three centuries. During this period a high water mark was reached and the Flugelglas became the most extravagant expression of the Venetian style.

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