Museums in Perugia: Museo-Laboratorio di Vetrate Artistiche Moretti Caselli - The glass painting museum
The museum is situated right in the historical town center of Perugia, underneath the Giardini Carducci public gardens.
It is only accessible by booking a private tour so you need to call beforehand.
Maddalena Forenza, a charming young lady, and her mother Anna Matilde Falsettini will give you a warm welcome.
The studio for stained glass works is in the hands of their family since 1862. Francesco Moretti set up a fully-equipped workshop in the former convent of San Domenico in Perugia. In 1895 it was relocated to the medieval palazzo in Via Fatebenefratelli where it remains to this day.
The tour showcases the private apartment and work space of five generations of glass painters. It feels like stepping back in time and yet it is a still fully functioning workshop for glass painting.
The Studio has a historical collection of traditional machinery and tools and Maddalena will show you how she is working on the restoration of a medieval glass window from a church nearby.
You can see the love she and her family put in every detail, from the furniture to the utensils used since the 19th century. She explains the process of antique glass painting and assembling of the coloured glass windows, just like their ancestors did in the past.
The most famous artwork of the collection is a glass window illustrating queen Margherita di Savoia.
The details in this glass window are mesmerizing, almost as if it was an oil painting but through the translucence of the glass the colours shine even brighter.
The artwork was made without a commission but the Queen was willing to buy it. But just then the cholera struck Naples, and Margherita who loved Naples invested all her money to save the city and its population!
In return a pizza was called after her, the "Pizza Margherita” made with the three colours of Italy: green basil, red tomatoes and white mozzarella.
So the wonderful artwork remained in Perugia, in the house where it was created.
When the afternoon light falls through the museum's large windows, the picture magically lights up and the queen looks so lifelike as if she could step out of the picture at any moment. You can almost hear the rustling of the precious silk of her sky-blue dress.
The largest glass painting ever made in the workshop is a copy of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. Its production lasted six years from 1925 to 1931. Since the first version partially broke, a second picture had to be made, which is still to be seen in the cemetery church of Glendale in Los Angeles, California. The partially broken first image, however, has been repaired and can now be admired in the museum.
Another artwork I want to illustrate is a huge round window in art deco style I see almost every day because it´s in my school!
There are a lot of wonderful pieces made by students and teachers of the art school “Liceo Artistico Bernardino di Betto”, but this one is the most striking!
Its size, the light in the afternoon, the composition, the elegance of the nymph sitting on the tree, the water-lilies, the texture of the water ...
I don´t think I even have to explain why I find it so glorious, just see for yourself!
For more information about the Museo-Laboratorio di Vetrate Artistiche Moretti Caselli please visit http://www.studiomoretticaselli.it/?lang=en/
Daily by appointment (Sundays and holidays included).
T. 0039 340 776 55 94.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. without appointment (closing starts from 12:30).
A contribution will be gratefully received for the maintenance of the Museum.
Text: Aurora Sandt