Viaggio tra vetri e cristalli nel ducato estense
The Este family of Ferrara sourced materials in nearby Venice beginning in the fifteenth century, particularly glass objects for court, as well entrusting the production of their weapons, tapestries, furniture and tiles. The rich archive of Este, stored in Modena, provides abundant documentation on payments made for the purchase of glass in Venice. Traces of local production, however, are found in window works from sixteenth century masters, who restored the great buildings of Ferrara, such as the Castle, the Ducal Palace, and outfitted new homes for nobility. Prestigious artists were entrusted with the execution of the preparatory drawings for the production of glassware and earthenware: Alfonso I d&Este commissioned Titian to draw a series of windows for the Castle’s pharmacy; Dosso Dossi and his brother Battista, as evidenced by payment stamps in our archive, took care of the design and decoration of ceramics that were fired in the Castle. With the succession of Ferrara to the Church in 1598, the Este court moved to Modena, bringing their old habits with them, even if the splendor of the court became more provincial. Life in the new Ducal Palazzo lacked the cultural and artistic union that had characterized Ferrara from the time of Nicolo III d&Este. Venice was now further away, but continued to supply glass to the cupboards of Este. Eventually, this meeker court began to source glass blowers of various regions, particularly the Altaresi of Piedmont. This relationship, which can be traced up until the middle of the nineteenth century with the Bormioli family, significantly impacted the production of glass in Modena, mainly utilized for everyday domestic objects. Pumpkins, gourds, ink jars and bottles are amongst the work of the nomadic artisans who worked in Modena between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. .