November 21st, 2010
I was so thankful this past October that on our last day in Florence on our Italy Painting Trip, that Alison pointed a small group of us in the direction of the Pietre Dure Museum, officially called the Opificio della Pietre Dure. This amazing little place is tucked on a side street just around the corner from the lines of people waiting to see Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia. We were the only three people in attendance the whole time we were there! How lovely to escape the crowds and spend some quiet time contemplating the stone marquetry and scagliola work of centuries of fine Florentine craftsmen. Below are some of my favorite photos taken on site….
My favorite photo is of this ornate and amazing malachite fireplace surround, detailed out with gilded plasterwork. They just don’t make ‘em like this any more kids!!
Alison had recommended this museum as being “easily digestable”, and the focus on JUST this type of artistry really helps you hone in, enjoy, and appreicate the amount of skill and detail that this kind of artwork requires! Upstairs there is even an extensive display of the tools and “machines’ that were employed by the artisans, as well as a beautiful selection of all of the precious and semi-precious stones and marbles that were routinely incorporated. I HIGHLY recommend that this museum be moved to the top of your list if you find yourself lucky enough to be in Florence!
You can find more interesting details about the history of the this “court laboratory” turned museum, and the beauty it contains here, in English.