The island of Murano supplied Venice’s wealthy households and visitors on the Grand Tour with elegant glass objects for domestic use. Since the mid-fifteenth century, Murano manufacturers had specialized in making cristallo—a clear, colorless glass that resembles rock crystal—using a secret recipe that was coveted by courts throughout Europe. By the eighteenth century, competing glass centers in England and Bohemia, as well as changing consumer tastes, encouraged the development of new techniques in Venice. Glassmakers imitated fashionable materials such as lace, precious stones, and porcelain.
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