Unknown Artist, ‘Pietre Dure Figural Plaque ’, 1815-1918,  M.S. Rau Antiques
Unknown Artist, ‘Pietre Dure Figural Plaque ’, 1815-1918,  M.S. Rau Antiques

An exceptional and rare pietre dure figural plaque. Pietre dure, also known as pietra dura, is a form of mosaic inlay created from polished marbles and minerals resulting in brilliant, colorful designs. With origins as early as the 16th-century, the Italians were particularly fond of pietre dure and used the technique on everything from monumental cabinets to tiny boxes. Wealthy aristocrats making their Grand Tour through Italy were also very fond of pietre dure works.

The technique requires that fine marbles and stones be inlaid into a stone base. By using marbles and stones of varying color, artisans were able to create patterns and pictures in much the same manner as a mosaic. The technique was expensive, requiring not only precious materials, but highly skilled craftsmen. As a result, many works were completed using imitation marble and are know as "scagliola." True marble and stone pietre dure works such as this are very rare and highly collectible. Circa 1860.

Plaque: 8 1/4" high x 5 1/4" wide
Frame: 10 1/2" high x 7 3/4" wide

About Unknown Artist

Solo Shows on Artsy

2017
Ganesha: The Playful Protector, Denver Art Museum, Denver
2017
Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire, de Young Museum, San Francisco
2016
Sites Eternels, RMN Grand Palais, Paris
2016
Epic Tales from India: Paintings from the San Diego Museum of Art, Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton
2016
The Future of the Past: Mummies and Medicine, Legion of Honor, San Francisco
2015
Blue: Alchemy of a Colour, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
2015
Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: Nā Hulu Ali‘i, de Young Museum, San Francisco
2015
New for Now, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
View Artist's CV