Home > Current events > The Heart Of Glass Coeur De Verre

Coeur de verre

Until 25th April 2004

Glass craftsmanship at Lugdunum. An archeological exhibition full of colour and surprises.

Glass recipient in the form of a fish, Lyon Museum of Gallo-Roman civilization, H : 7.1 cm, W : 16 cm. Photo C.Thioc


Gallo-Roman Museum at Lyon Fouvière
17 rue Cléberg
69005 Lyon

Contact :

Tél : 04 72 38 49 30 - Fax : 04 72 38 77 42
site : www.rhone.fr
e-mail : fourviere@rhone.fr

Opening Hours :

Open everyday, except Monday, from 10am to 5 pm, and till 6 pm from April 1.

Curators :

Danièle Foy
Hugues Savay-Guerraz

Entrance Fee :

Full price : 3,80 € - Reduced price : 2,30 €
Free : under 18s, unemployed, RMI, and all public on Thursdays.

This exhibition, curated by the Rhône Archeological Center, is the result of two excavation projects carried out in recent years in the ‘La Butte district’ of Lyon and on an ancient wreck off the island of Embiez, west of Toulon.
Taken together discoveries from these sites provide new information about the production and trade of glass in the Gallo-Roman era, as well as being beautiful objects in themselves.

A long journey

Glass in Roman times was largely used in the production of crockery as well as both utilitarian and sophisticated objects. The base materials were rarely manufactured on site. Obtained in the Middle East from Levantine desert sand, glass blocks were transported by boat to the West, to be turned into manufactured products. Several tons of glass blocks weighing up to 24 kilos each, have been retreived from depths of 55 metres. Shown underwater in the exhibition they regain all their original colour and luminosity.

Lyon, Glass Capital

In the first three centuries AD, Lyon was the capital of Gaul. All trade between the Mediterranean and the North of the Roman Empire went through it. Excavations made in the ‘La Butte district’ which in ancient times specialised in the techniques of firing, have revealed fourteen kilns (faithfully restored for the exhibition), and underline the importance of glasswork in Lagdunum.Several workshops show the diversity of Lyon’s industry. Fine glassware for serving wine, cups, funereal or perfume bottles and the sophistication of the techniques and products in use at that time.


Hearts of Glass
Production and distribution of antique glass, under the direction of Danièle Foy, photos by Yves Rigoir.
Edition Infolio 192 pages, 26 euros.
Booklet 16 pages reproducing the exhibit captions. Free

Illustrations :
Left : Glass block, detail. Photo Y.Rigoir
Right : Long neck vase, Lyon Museum of Gallo-Roman civilization, H : 7.1 cm, W : 16 cm. Photo © CREAM, Vienna