Pietra dura, or pietra dure, is a term for using cut and fitted, highly polished colored stones to create images. The stonework is glued stone-by-stone to a base after being "sliced and cut in different shape sections; and then assembled together so precisely that the contact between each section was practically invisible". Stability was achieved by grooving the undersides of the stones so that they interlocked, rather like a jigsaw puzzle, with everything held in place by an encircling 'frame'. Many different colored stones, particularly marbles, were used, along with semiprecious, and even precious stones. The technique first appeared in Rome in the 16th century. It reached its peak in Florence. Some fine pieces were brought back as keepsakes from the Grand Tour. Pietra dura items are generally crafted on green, white or black marble base stones. Typically the resulting panel is completely flat, but some examples have the image is in low relief. I have always loved well-made pietra dura pieces.
This is a signed piece of very high quality. The signature is illegible, but it does look like it starts with an "M". One of the most famous pietra dura artists was Giovanni Montelatici (1864-1930). Probably not him, but it would be nice if it was! Whoever the artist was, he was very talented.
Country of Origin: Italy.
Medium: Pietra Dura (Pietra Dure).
Signed: Lower Right.
Size: Plaque is 9 by 7 1/2 inches; Frame 16 1/2 by 14 1/2 inches.
Condition: Both the plaque and the frame are in Very Good Condition. I can find no defects in the plaque. The frame has a very few tiny "dings".
Circa: 19th Century.
Please note that the physical colors of this item may vary from the pictures in the listing, given the quality of the camera, the lighting and the background used.
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19th Century Signed Pietra Dura - Woman With Chicken And Basket
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