The craftsmanship of no less than five generations has been handed down and consolidated in the historic center of Perugia to create nationally and internationally recognized artistic masterpieces on glass.
Bearing witness to this is the Moretti-Caselli Museum-Laboratory: a discovery into the secrets of glass painting.
The story of an art family
It all began back in 1859 when Francesco Moretti, after attending the Academy of Fine Arts in Perugia, was called to restore the stained-glass window of the cathedral of Maria Santissima Annunziata in Todi. Driven by a lively curiosity for this art form and looking for a place to work to the best of his ability, in 1861 he was able to purchase from the Free University of Perugia the stone building on Via Fatebenefratelli which still houses the studio today. Renovated internally and externally, the studio-laboratory was placed on the ground floor, reserving the upper floor for the family home.
In this place, the ancient art was able to take shape and was passed on to the next generations, researching and experimenting with different techniques, from pigment composition, image production, and glass lead and firing to make amazing, world-famous stained-glass windows.
Among the important works executed by the family's master artisans is the masterpiece Portrait of Margaret of Savoy, created by Francesco Moretti in 1881. This stained-glass window is the result of meticulous and innovative work, using masterful painting, succeeding in giving a three-dimensional effect to simple glass blocks, assembled imperceptibly with lead, giving shape to a true work of art and above all surpassing the medieval canons of stained-glass windows of the time, in the name of an artistic thrust in a Renaissance key.
In addition to the countless stained-glass windows found in Umbria's most important spiritual and historically important places, such as Perugia’s Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Orvieto Cathedral, Church of Sana Maria in Todi, Gallenga Palace, Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Church of Santa Croce in Bastia Umbra, the Lower Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, Castello dell'Oscano, and the National Gallery of Umbria, this family's pictorial glass magic has reached as far as California.
An American patron in the mid-twentieth century commissioned the stained-glass window depicting Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, the Last Supper, which was made between 1925 and 1930 by Rosa Moretti Caselli and Cecilia Caselli, and which is still in Glendale Cemetery in Los Angeles.