Vitrum: Glass between Science and Art in the Roman World

Archaeological findings and literary sources of the 1st century AD document a considerable production of glass objects in Vesuvian cities and other centres of the Roman Empire. The striking diffusion of these artefacts is due not only to their aesthetic and practical features but to an important technological innovation linked to accurate experimental research as well. Glassblowing technique and ancient philosophers’ special attention to the ultimate composition of matter fostered an optimal link between art and science, between craftsman’s skill and philosopher’s ingenuity. This exhibition aims to highlight the importance of glass in making apparatus and devices which worked together to develop scientific and technological knowledge of Antiquity and to lay the basis for the “scientific” rediscovery of glass in the Renaissance.

Exhibition Dates

27.03.2004 – 16.01.2005 Florence, Museo degli Argenti
31.01.2006 – 27.08.2006 Paris, Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie
  (Arts et Sciences. Le verre dans l’Empire romain)


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