Originally, Bohemian Gothic glassware was made of green glass known as 'forest' glass. In the Renaissance period, the glassmaking production was taken over by Venice for a time, starting and developing the technique of enameling. In the Bohemian environment, this technique was quickly modified into a Renaissance style of painting which contrasted with the refined decorations of the Venetian glass. At the beginning of the 17th century, Italian and German cutters came to the court of King Rudolf II in Prague. Thanks to these artists, the techniques evolved and brought a new artistic style, opening the perception of glass as an artifact. The success was such that in the early 18th century, the Czechs gained control over the world's glass markets. Hand made and hand cut coloured lead crystal helped to change the deep-rooted view of the production using transparent glass which culminated in the Neo-classical style. Frequent motifs included coats of arms, figural scenes from everyday life, as well as portraits of rulers. Business centers called 'Bohemian houses' could be found in the 12 biggest European cities, 38 European ports and outside of Europe in Baltimore, Beirut, Cairo, Mexico, New York and Smyrna. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the 19th century, the production of traditional Bohemian crystal went down because of the discovery of a new glass - clear English lead crystal. The new glass could be melted at lower temperature, engraved and cut easier, resulting in a much lower price. The Czechs did not respond fast enough to the market demand for the lead crystal and lost great part of the market share. This resulted in the bankruptcy of most of the old Bohemian glassworks. But Bedrich Egermann, a very innovative glass manufacturer, came with the idea of opaque coloured glasses (opals, opalines, lithyalines, hyalites etc.), which later inspired the production of the second half of the 19th century, and especially the Art Nouveau and modern trends of glass art in the 20th century. Bohemian glass triumphed on the world markets once again.