Antonio Pires de Matos
<apmatos@fct.unl.pt>

António secured a Degree in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Lisbon in 1962, and in 1970 was awarded PhD in chemistry by the University of Cambridge, U.K.

After 40 years of research in radiochemistry at the Portuguese Nuclear Institute, where he was Coordinator Researcher, António was invited to teach Methods of Instrumental Analysis in the course of Conservation and Restoration at the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa. In 2002, with colleagues of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Universidade de Lisboa, he founded the research unit “Glass and Ceramics for the Arts”, VICARTE. António is Emeritus Invited Full Professor at the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa and now is working at the Research Unit VICARTE in the campus of this university.

David Martlew once said: “it is so easy to fall into the illusion that now we are wise, we know it all, and our forebears were ignorant men without any science at all”.

This communication will take us on a journey through several centuries of the development of the colour in glass. In part, the path of the travel is based on several recipe books, e.g. “Il Ricettario Darduin” from Venice, the recipe books of Guilherme Stephens from Marinha Grande, Portugal, several recipe books from the Dudley Archives in England, and on the work done in the Tiffany Studio by Arthur J. Nash and Leslie H. Nash. Recent work and developments carried out in the research unit

VICARTE, “Glass and Ceramics for the Arts”, will also be discussed.

His current research activities are divided in provenance studies of Portuguese glass and new techniques to colour glass – applied to contemporary art. He has been studying several historic batch books, namely from Portugal, from the Rakow Library of the Corning Museum of Glass, from Venice and from the Dudley Archives in England

In keeping with the theme of this meeting “From Sand to Splendour”, some iconic examples of objects made with coloured glass will be shown. Ancient techniques and compositions for colouring glass will be compared with more current ones.

1 Tankard, Brandenburg, Potsdam, engraving by Gottfried Spiller or his circle, Berlin, early 18th century, Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Glasmuseum Hentrich, Courtesy, Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk. 2 – Frammenti di una coppetta trovati nello scavo di un convento dedicato a Santa Chiara a Padova, 1480-1520, Courtesy, Rosa Barovier. 3 – Vasetto nero iridescente, ca. 1890 by Giuseppe Barovier, La vetreria è “Artisti Barovier”, Courtesy, Rosa Barovier.   4 – Triad/lavender/boat, Michael Rogers, photo credit Geoff Tesch, XXI century. 5 – Beaker, XVIII century, Fabrica de Coina, Courtesy, Palácio Nacional da Pena.