The Art of Hard Stones

Another adventure off the typical tourist route in Florence is the small museum Museo Opificio delle Pietre Dure which showcases the art of Pietre Dure. Perhaps more familiar are the artistic techniques of mosaic, using small pieces of cut stone or marquetry, applying pieces of wood veneer to form patterns and pictures, but Pietre Dure requires the cutting of thin colored stone in the exact pattern shapes that are fitted together like a puzzle, with invisible seams. Petre Dure’s work dates to the 1600’s. Commissioned by Popes and wealthy patrons, you will find his work on


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