Arts & Crafts in Venice
“Venice is a city born out of nothing….If Venice is indebted to nature, she is even more indebted to man who, having laboriously gathered together the necessary materials, raised her up. ….we can understand the importance of manual labor in the evolution of the city….” So perfectly expressed by Doretta Davanzo Poli in Arts & Crafts in Venice. The work of the artist, artisan, craftsman, carpenter, designer and architect were essential then just as they are today. Their work is an enduring legacy of outstanding craftsmanship. As I showcase the minor arts from Venice featured in this book; I will incorporate them into today’s interior arts.
All stone in Venice comes from elsewhere. The stone-masons guild was the most important of all the guilds being responsible for almost everything beautiful you can see as Venice; from the palaces, churches, bridges and squares to the beautiful interior features such as staircases, arches and fireplaces. Internal fireplaces became precise points of reference for the layout of the plan and the furnishing of the home, just as it is today. See magnificent stone fireplaces for today’s home in Fireplace as Focal Point.
Between the second half of the 17th century and the first half of the 18th century artisans were specializing in work on semi-precious stones in Venice. Called Pietra Dura, the technique first appeared in the 16th century in Rome reaching its full maturity in Florence.
As you can see from the closeup, cut and fitted, highly polished colored stones are used to create the images. It is distinct from a mosaic in that the stones are mostly larger and cut into a shape suiting their place in the image and are not all of equal size and shape as in a mosaic. Also, the stones are not cemented together with grout.
The art of Venetian tetazzeri has its origin in Rome. Made up of marble and stone pieces cut into geometric shapes and brought together in imaginative, colored designs to make flat floor and wall surfaces.
Today we have incredible mosaic options. Sicis is one of my favorites.
To be continued…..