Sumptuous objects in marble and pietra dura
We wanted in this exhibition to present one of the gallery’s areas of predilection, which dates back to its very foundation and was its original specialty: objects in pietra dura.
The exhibition, leaving the Antiquities, which are a specialty in itself, began with the sixteenth century and the very first tables inlaid with precious stones and marble.
We can mention amongst this exhibition’s masterpieces:
– a beautiful two-meter long centrepiece representing a Roman circus by Giuseppe Valadier from the last quarter of the eighteenth century (catalogue p 28),
– a table-top in a mosaic of coloured marble and lapis lazuli, from the last quarter of the 16th century (catalogue p 66),
– a unique cabinet veneered in ivory and exotic woods, inset with pietra dura plaques (Augsburg, by Melchior Baumgartner, circa 1650 for the furniture and Florence, circa 1625 for the pietra dura plaques), which is now in the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna (catalogue p 87), and
– a Russian vase in solid lapis lazuli, adorned with gilded bronze representing snakes (catalogue p 155).