Antonio Salviati

Antonio Salviati (18 March 1816 – 25 January 1890) was an Italian glass manufacturer and founder of the Salviati family firm.

The Palazzo Salviati shop of the Salviati family in Venice


A native of Vicenza, Salviati was a lawyer who became interested in glass work after participating in restorations being done on the mosaics of Saint Mark's Cathedral in Venice. He opened his first glass business in 1859 with Lorenzo Radi, and this firm produced the mosaic glass for the altar screen for the high altar of Westminster Abbey. In 1876, he left this business to establish a new firm which executed the mosaic decoration of the dome of Aachen Cathedral. The designs of this cathedral were based on the ideas of the Belgian architect Jean-Baptiste de Bethune. The Victorian period saw Salviati turn glass pieces, a former staple of wealth only enjoyed by a few, into ornamental pieces seen by millions throughout the homes and parlors of Italy.

During 1866, Antonio Salviati founded Compagnia Venezia Murano with British diplomat and archaeologist Austen Henry Layard. Pauly & C. - Compagnia Venezia Murano has continued to be an important producer of Venetian art glass.

Of particular historical relevance is the mosaic portrait of President Abraham Lincoln, which can be viewed today in the Senate House rooms in the United States, produced by Compagnia Venezia Murano and donated by Antonio Salviati in 1866.

Murano had been a centre of fine glasswork since the Middle Ages (producing the glass that bore its name), but the pieces were lavish and expensive specialty pieces that only the wealthy could afford. Salviati changed the face of the business by becoming the first glass factory owner to employ a large number of skilled workers to mass-produce glass intended for export. The Victorian period saw Salviati turn glass pieces, a former staple of wealth enjoyed by a few, into ornamental pieces seen by millions throughout the homes and parlors of Italy. This re-established Murano as a centre for glass manufacture.

Salviati died on 25 January 1890 in Venice, Italy.

Works in EuropeEdit

Salviati's work spread mainly to England and France, where his work was best associated with the architectural design style of these countries. His mosaics can be seen in many churches across these countries. His smaller, mass produced work, stayed relative to Italy being sold as retail.





Great BritainEdit




The chapel at Fulham Palace includes a reredos by Salviati depicting the nativity. The Palace including the chapel is open for free daily, from 10.30 - 17.00 (10.30 - 16.00 winter).

DundeeEdit Mosaic reredos of Christ in glory in St Paul's Episcopal Cathedral


West Rainton St. Mary's Parish Church features a large reredos by Salviati.

St Mary's Church, West Rainton


St. Thomas of Canterbury church, Elsfield, has a Salviati mosaic of The Last Supper.


Mosaic reredos by Salviati of Venice, 1872, depicting the Last Supper after da Vinci. The location is the Grade II* Listed Church of St. Bridget with St. Thomas in Wavertree, Liverpool.

The church of St. Bridget with St. Thomas, Wavertree, has a Salviati mosaic of the Last Supper, dating from 1872.


  All Saints Church, Reading, Berkshire, has a Salviati glass mosaic reredos depicting the Last Supper, that was installed in 1866.[2]


Mosaic work in the chancel of St John's Church, Torquay installed in 1866.[3]





See alsoEdit

Salviati (glassmakers)


  1. ^ Church of St Andrew, Biggleswade on the British Listed Buildings website
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-06-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Consecration of the chancel of St John's Church". Exeter and Plymouth Gazette. England. 11 November 1864. Retrieved 30 September 2019 – via British Newspaper Archive.

2. "Archived Copy". "Britannica Online. Retrieved 2016-10-2021

  • Gable, Carl I., Murano Magic: Complete Guide to Venetian Glass, its History and Artists (Schiffer, 2004), p. 207.
  • "Antonio Salviati." Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.

Kovach, R. S. "Locations." The Salviati Architectural Mosaic Database:. Blogger, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.

External linksEdit