This year Murano Glass Scenes will be on display in Rome in the Palazzo del Quirinale, one of the official residences of the President of the Republic of Italy. In addition to these beautiful glass scluptures by Matteo Tagliapietra. In addition to the Murano Glass Sculptures, each region of Italy is represented with their artistic work. They are on display through January.
In Venice you can see another great example of the Presèpio at Ca’ Fassetti, the City Hall of Venice. The building is on the Grand Canal between the Rialto Bridge and San Marco. It is thought to have been built in the 13th century by the heirs of the Doge Dandolo and was bought by the commune of Venice in 1926. This beautiful glass sclupture was made by the famous Murano Glass Maestro Walter Furlan in 2000.
These brought to my memory a beautiful evening in Bassano del Grappa with a group of Murano Glass Furnace owners when they presented their exquisite pieces of art to the city for the holiday. So here’s from my blog on that event.
I just spent a few days in Venice working with our bead suppliers as well as the furnaces. During the trip, we were invited to attend an event in Bassano del Grappa (located in the Veneto Region) where the outdoor Christmas market was already in progress. Outside were a more German tradition of the Christmas markets with decorations, many handmade by local crafts people, especially in wood. There were local bakery goods and products available. Of course Bobo Natale (Santa Claus) was there to talk to the children and a small train rain through the town square equally entertaining to adults and children.
In a small church near the center of town, a glass exhibit of nativity scenes from the finest glass factories of Venice were presented. Each presepio (nativity scene) was an original work of art. This is a tradition for Christmas and each year the locals eagerly await the new Murano Glass art for their town.
My favorite was a scene by the Maestro Ermanno Nason, (top right) who is now in his 90s and still has a studio, though he does not blow. It is truly an art exhibition. Each furnace was given the same topic: nativity scene; yet the result was 18 unique, each incredibly beautiful scenes. They used the same ingredients: soda, sand and fire but the artistry came from within each of the maestros.
It’s rather like our beads and the jewelry each of you creates. It’s the vision in your minds that comes to life in your jewelry and that vision is yours alone There were many speeches by the Bassano cultural committee, a historian spoke about the significance of the Murano glass and officials from the island of Murano presented the gift to the city. We were honored to have been invited to share this moment and enjoy the art. (Did I mention there was a fine party after?) Thankfully, we were also invited for the weekend to our friend’s cabin in Asolo and did not have to drive back to Venice.