Venetian glass art and science

Prof. Cinzia Sada
(University of Padova)

DATE: 22nd August 2018
TIME: 14:00 – 15:00 pm
LOCATION: Crociferi Foundation, Venice

Venetian Glass is an amazing example of “art in science” and “science in art” can combine in fabulous results of beauty and performance.

Venetian glassmaking dated back to the VIII century, when Venice was at the centre of important commercial exchanges with the Middle East and welcoming new specialized skills. Made of various components, that mixed together can provide for a variety of different properties, the glass has always been a material full of surprises. Venetian glassmaking was and is an art, handed down from father to son, and now it has reached a very high level of technological advances and development. Apart from different colours achieved by adding dopants or pigments, glass can be strengthened to resist high temperatures and high pressures, in various moulded shapes.


In this lecture, the history of the glass with special attention to the venetian one will be presented, showing astonishing examples of beauty made by combining different properties of this material. The scientific explanation of its properties as well as its nature will be revised, with a trip from art to science and from science to art.

Some highlights on tailoring its properties will be discussed, showing how to produce it in in industrial processes as well as in artistic hand-made ones. Finally, an outlook to venetian glass and glass in general, with the relative perspectives and potentialities will be discussed.



Cinzia Sada (MA in Physics University of Padova, PhD in Material Science University of Catania) is Associate Professor of Experimental Physics of Matter at the University of Padova.

Her research activity, published in more than 250 international reviewed journals, has been focused on insulator materials (glass and crystals) and how to tailor their properties in bulk and at a nano/micro scale for applications in integrated optics, photonics and opto-microfluidics. Expert in optical and compositional analysis of the materials, she investigated new tools for archelogical finds.