A closer look at some of Pietra dura’s most iconic designs
Pietra Dura is a mosaic art practice that developed by Ancient Romans, Opus Sec-tile technique. The Pietra dura technique became popular amongst mosaic designers, since it flourished in Florence in the late 16th and 17th centuries. The technique involved a style of vastly illusionist illustrations, using cut-to-shape colorful tiles of hard stone. The term ‘Pietra-dura’ signifies the vital hardness and resilience of the material used for this work. The most common stones used in Pietra dura mosaic designs are the stones with high mohs scale of mineral hardness.
Quartz, chalcedony, agate, jasper, granite, porphyry, and petrified woods are frequently used in Pietra Dura mosaics. These stones vary and endow with an almost boundless range of colors.
In The Museum Of Florence
Stone Intarsia work
This extraordinary Museum in Florence is dedicated to the mosaic art of semi-precious stone inlays. Artworks in the museum are mainly influenced by the “Art and Nature” Motifs.
In this one of a kind museum, artistic talent competes only with the splendor of the materials engaged in artworks creation.
This magnificent Florentine Pietra Dura table top mosaic is inlaid with 22 different motifs, made using colored marble and semi-precious stones. The different motifs illustrate a link between plants and bird life in the most lively graphic colors.
Florentine Pietra Dura
Giovanni Montelatici is often credited for restoring the skill of painting in Pietra Dura.
Montelatici established a large workshop, known as La Musiva, on the Via Arnolfo. During the early decades of the 20th century, his business flourished when the buyers and orders became plenty. Thus his two sons, Mario and Alfonso, decided to join him in Pietra Dura mosaic creations.
Pietra Dura Panel
This Tuscan Mosaic is made of cut stone inlaid using the Pietra Dura technique. The artwork was sold for £157,250 at the Bonhams’ Fine Art auction in London. The expert didn’t know how old the piece was nor the artist behind the masterpiece.
Pietra Dura Mosaic
The village Pietra Dura mosaic is composed of Pietra Sure “hard stones” combined with the Pietra Tenere “soft stones” technique. Thus exquisite flows of colors and effects were created.
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