Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection

MICROMOSAIC MINIATURE GLASS TILES USED TO MAKE THIS PANEL

Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on January 4, 2017

Micromosaic Miniature Glass Tiles Used To Make This Panel

 PiazzaS. Pietro nel monento della benedizione papale, (St. Peter’s Square at the time of the papal blessing). Vatican Workshop. Roman, Italy , About 1879. 95.3.16. in the Corning Museum of Glass.

H: 48.5 cm, W: 68 cm, Th: 8.8 cm

PiazzaS. Pietro nel monento della benedizione papale, (St. Peter’s Square at the time of the papal blessing). Vatican Workshop. Roman, Italy , About 1879. 95.3.16. in the Corning Museum of Glass.

Description: From Corning Museum of Glass web site. The panel is a superb example of the intricate mosaic work executed by the Vatican Mosaic Workshops in the second half of the 19th century. The workshop was founded in 1576 to provide embellishments for St. Peter’s cathedral. In the following centuries, Rome became renowned for this technique throughout Europe. The Barzotti panel is a superb example of the virtuosity and technical skill of the mature micro mosaics executed in the Vatican Workshop in the 19th century. There are remains of an old broken paper label on the back of the panel with a Papal seal.

Remarks: From an article in a Corning Museum of Glass publication, the Gather Fall 2016/Winter 2017 “My Favorite Thing” by Dave Togni, Director of Finance.

My favorite object is the micromosaic titled PiazzaS. Pietro nel monento della benedizione papale, (St. Peter’s Square at the time of the papal blessing). The piece depicts St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City during a Sunday benediction by Pope Leo XII.  I remember the first Day I walked into the galleries and happened upon this piece.   As I approached it, I thought how strange is was that a glass museum had an oil painting as part of its collection.  I wondered if perhaps the frame was made out of glass-nope…carved gilded wood. Getting closer, I discovered that the painting is actually not a painting at all.  Instead, it is thousands of miniature glass tiles, some no larger than a pinhead, carefully arranged to create the scene.

Often, when I wander through the Museum’s galleries, I like to transport my mind back to the time when a piece was made, imagining what the world was like and thinking about the skilled workers and artists meticulously creating a masterpiece such as this.  This dates back to about 1879, and it surely took a long time and masterful skills to construct the people, horses, carriages, buildings, and even fountains spewing water depicted in the scene.  Not only are the details mesmerizing, but the colors are also vibrant and numerous.

The next time you are in the Museum’s galleries, take the opportunity to view this amazing micromosaic.  Accept my challenge to stand before this piece and spend just a moment gazing at the intricate details that you might normally miss. My guess is this is a challenge you won’t mind taking because there is so much to see and explore in my favorite object.

One Response

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  1. David Giles said, on January 4, 2017 at 5:43 am

    What an absolute masterpiece. How did Corning acquire it? You won’t see many of these in the market place.


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