A gift for Joseph Stalin for his 70th birthday from
the Italian proletariat, 1949
Splendid vase in the shape of a Greek amphora and a large plate
made of green Murano glass
The vase and the plate were both made at the factory situated on the
famous island of Murano. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's gifts were displayed
in an exhibition from 1949-1953. Visitors to this exhibition were amazed
by the items, crafted by high- class Italian masters. Both of the articles
were made using the technique, which has a long history in Venice.
View of canal in Murano Island, Veneto, Italy.
MURANO: Mosaic
The basis of the Venetian traditional style is filigree use of the
glass's plasticity coupled with the rich fantasy of the master's ability
to blow the most exquisite shapes from it. It was due to the unique glass
blowers that the small island of Murano, situated in the Venetian
lagoon, gained popularity around the world
Master glassblowers were moved to the island from Venice in 1291
under the order of the Municipal Council. The problem was
that glassblowers used open flame for their work, which endangered
all of the wooden structures in the vicinity.
The secrets of making glass marvels were kept under strict control on the island.
Wishing to have exclusive goods, Venetian authorities banned masters from
leaving the island. Punishment for breaking the law could include jail time or even
a death sentence. In return, the craftsmen-glassblowers were provided with
unheard of privileges: their labour was very highly paid and their children could
marry the members of the Venetian nobility.
Today a number of factories work on the island of Murano. Glassblowers now
work in collaboration with many modern artists. Nowadays the Murano glass is
acclaimed throughout the world as a luxury good and is often regarded as an
exclusive collection item.
Collection custodian:
“The museum’s collection has a few more items
from this renowned center of glassblowing.
These works of art were presented to Secretary
General Mikhail Gorbachev during his visit to
Italy at the end of 1980s.”