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Toute l'offre culturelle


  • L'herbier des Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques et ses quelque six millions d’échantillons est un des plus importants au monde. Quant au jardin, il abrite de magnifiques collections de plantes vivantes.
  • Site internet du Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques


  • Le FMAC a pour missions de développer la présence de l’art dans l’espace public et de soutenir les artistes actifs et actives à Genève. Le FMAC gère la Médiathèque, un espace de consultation et de diffusion d’une collection dédiée à l'art vidéo. Le FMAC Mobile, par ses actions de médiation, favorise l’intérêt et la compréhension des publics pour le domaine de l’art contemporain.
  • Page web du Fonds municipal d’art contemporain


  • Avec une collection riche de 25'000 objets illustrant douze siècles de culture céramique, le Musée Ariana compte parmi les grands musées européens spécialisés dans les arts du feu.
  • Site internet du Musée Ariana


  • Les Musées d’art et d’histoire forment le plus grand ensemble muséal de Suisse, avec ses cinq musées et leurs 700'000 objets, sa bibliothèque et ses ateliers de restauration.
  • Site internet des Musées d'art et d'histoire


  • Haut lieu de la réflexion sur les sociétés humaines, le Musée d'ethnographie de Genève, dont les bâtiments se trouvent au boulevard Carl-Vogt propose au travers de ses expositions une variété de lectures anthropologiques des phénomènes sociaux et culturels qui traversent le monde actuel.
  • Site internet du Musée d'ethnographie


  • Le Muséum d’histoire naturelle accueille plus de 250'000 visiteurs chaque année à la découverte des millions de spécimens exceptionnels appartenant au patrimoine naturel qu'il conserve. Unique en son genre en Suisse, le Musée d'histoire des sciences - affilié au Muséum - abrite une collection d'instruments scientifiques anciens issus des cabinets des savants genevois du 17e au 19e siècle.
  • Site internet du Muséum d'histoire naturelle
    Site internet du Musée d'histoire des sciences

Historical Glass

Venetian glass, Bohemian crystal and English crystal

As well as its ceramic collections, the Musée Ariana also has over 2500 glass pieces, dating mainly from the 16th century to the present day. Around 250 of these feature in the museum’s permanent display and illustrate the technological advances, changes in taste and regional specializations that have marked the history of glass.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Venetian glass was a benchmark for quality. Its cristallo glass (so called because it resembled rock crystal), sometimes with diamond-point etching or filigree decoration, raised glass to the level of a luxury commodity. It was gradually imitated throughout Europe and gave rise to a Venetian style glass that is sometimes difficult to distinguish from the original. At the same time, the ancient and medieval tradition of coloured glass (by means of metallic oxides) continued, as shown in the work of the French glassmaker Bernard Perrot (1619-1709), and by pieces produced in the northern Alps in the 17th and 18th centuries. Painting on coloured or clear glass with polychrome enamels was also common, especially in central Switzerland (Flühli glass). In Prague, in the late 16th century, the gem cutter Gaspard Lehmann (1563/5-1623) adapted the wheel engraving technique to glass. This process, which allowed deep incisions to be made in the surface, soon eclipsed diamond-point engraving. It also combined well with a new, particularly hard and shiny potash-based glass developed under the impetus of Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor  and patron (1552-1612): glass crystal. Over the course of the 17th century, Bohemian crystal ousted the Venetian cristallo and conquered the entire European market.
In England, the manufacturer George  Ravenscroft (1632-1683) rapidly developed another type of crystal, replacing the potash by lead oxide. Between 1674 and 1676, he thus became the inventor of English crystal (also called lead crystal), which was even harder and more resistant than Bohemian crystal. This innovative material spread in turn to the continent, and helped to consolidate trading relationships with the Netherlands, where glass engraving was a speciality. 


Industrial revolution versus tradition

Although glassmakers were influenced from the 19th century onwards by the changes brought about by the industrial revolution (for example, the serial production of pieces of more or less common usage), they also remained attached to traditions. Venetian glass therefore enjoyed a fresh lease of life with the rediscovery of old craft techniques, followed in the 1910s and 1920s by a stylistic revival which gave pride of place to design. A parallel search for original aesthetics led European and American artists to create inventive shapes. The curved and/or natural forms of Art Nouveau, followed by the refined geometry of Art Deco, brought success to artists and companies, such as the Daum studio, Émile Gallé (1846-1904), and René Jules Lalique (1860-1945).

Picture :
Stemmed bowl
Second half 16th century
"A retorti" décor
Venice (Italy)
Gift of The Ariana Museum Fund Association, 1991
Photo : Jacques Pugin

 

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