CategoriesArt & Architecture RENAISSANCE INTARSIA: Masterpieces of Wood Inlay

RENAISSANCE INTARSIA: Masterpieces of Wood Inlay

EDITED BY LUCA TREVISAN    Book Number: 80918    Product format: Hardback

Intarsia, the craft of making pictures with inlaid wood, began with the decoration of the choir stalls in Orvieto Cathedral in the mid-14th century, and although intarsia was also used in a secular context, its principal exponents worked in ecclesiastical settings. Its popularity coincided with developments in understanding perspective, and of the 11 case studies presented here, the examples from the 15th century show the most dazzling range of perspectival views, for instance in the intarsiated vestry known as the Old Sacristy in the Duomo at Florence. The Sacristy's Presentation of Christ in the Temple takes place against the architectural background of a recessed niche, while other panels imitate open cupboard doors showing a bishop's mitre, candlesticks and books. The theme of cupboard interiors is continued in the Palazzo Ducale at Urbino, seat of the Montefeltro family, whereas architectural themes dominate in another masterpiece of the period, the Basilica del Santo, Padua. The Cinquecento was undoubtedly the high point of perspectival art, and it is nowhere better seen than in the cupboard doors of Verona's Santa Maria in Organo which display vistas of geometrical spheres and polygons, their construction rendered so precisely as to give a 3-D effect. The mid-16th century saw a move away from perspective, for instance at Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo, where Old Testament scenes such as David and Goliath are expressively rendered but remain crude compared with what was being done at the time with paint. By the end of the century the vogue for intarsia had run its course. This large hardback with superb colour reproductions and authoritative text is a unique art-historical resource. 256pp. 11" x 13".
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ISBN 9780789211262
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