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Pietre Dure and the Art of Florentine Inlay…

Pietre Dure and the Art of Florentine Inlay

by Annamaria Giusti

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Mosaic-like compositions carefully formed from judiciously selected and expertly cut pieces of semi-precious stone, or commessi di pietre dure were highly prized among the élite of Europe from the late sixteenth-century onwards. Florence was the primary focus for this art, the Medici being avid collecters and munificent patrons of it.

Giusti’s book traces the antecedents of pietre dure work in the wall mosaics of classical Rome, in mediæval ‘Cosmatesque’ work, and in the intricate marble table-tops of Renaissance Rome, before examining the flowering of the technique proper in Medici Florence, Rudolfine Prague and elsewhere.

Giusti’s expertise is impeccable, and she writes with practised elegance. The book is profusely and beautifully illustrated, although, in my (new) copy at least, the binding has proved too weak for the heavy pages, which are already half-torn from the back cover.
  misteraitch | Apr 7, 2007 |
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