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Word Count: 508
Although glassmaking was practiced in Venice from the 10th century on the earliest known Venetian glassware dates from the 15th century Concentrated on the island of Murano the Venetian industry dominated the European market until 1700 The major contribution of the Venetians was the development of a highly refined hard-soda glass of great ductility Colorless and highly transparent the glass resembled rock crystal and was known as cristallo The first cristallo wares were simple forms often embellished with jewel-like enamel designs Objects were also blown of colored and opaque glass By the late 16th century forms became lighter and more delicate The blowers exploited the workable nature of their material to produce fanciful tours de force A type of filigree glass was developed in Venice and widely imitated With lacelike effect opaque white threads were incorporated in the glass and worked into intricate patterns Some vessels were blown entirely of opaque white glass and painted with enamels in the manner of Chinese porcelain Novelties made of lampworked glass were made at Murano but Nevers France became most famous for this type of ware by the 17th century Particularly suited to soda glass was the practice of diamond-point engraving a technique favored in the 17th century by Dutch artisans By hammering the diamond-point stylus for a stippled effect they created ambitious pictorial designs Glass manufacturers throughout Europe tried to copy the Venetians in their production methods materials and decorative vocabulary Knowledge was spread through the glasswares themselves through the Art of Glass 1612 by Antonio Neri and through Venetian glassblowers Although forbidden by law to leave Venice and to divulge the secrets of their craft many Murano glassmakers left Italy to set up glasshouses elsewhere in Europe Each country developed its own faon de Venise as nationalistic preferences for certain forms or decorations tempered the Venetian model Italys influence was ultimately weakened in the 17th century by the development of new glass recipes in
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