Friday, August 28, 2015

Past POIs - Opificio delle Pietre Dure [Florence, Italy]

While this isn't a point of interest that I think has a lot of history behind it, I certainly felt that it was very fascinating.  In Florence, there is a museum called the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (Precious Gem Workshop).  We actually stumbling upon it by chance while we were waiting in line to see the David (we failed and ended up doing other sites and this was one of them).  It is right around the corner.

Each of the petals are a piece of stone.
The Precious Gem Workshop, opened in 1588, houses mosaics that are handcrafted and use precious gems to create a work of art.  Unfortunately my pictures don't do the works justice, if they look like a painting, you're wrong.  Each colour is actually a piece of stone, so you can imagine how time consuming it is to create one such piece.  There is nothing done to the stone, so when you see different shading, it is actually the stone itself, not paint or dye or anything like that.

Imagine how much effort was put in to pick and cut all of these stones.
On the upper floor, they have a workshop set up where you can see how they used to cut the stones into the pieces that they needed in order to make their works of art.

The top is the mosaic version of the painting below.
In my opinion, you should make an effort to come by and have a look at what is now a dying art form.  Like most of Italy and it's historic museums which house masterpieces of art, nowadays, we don't have the time and effort to create them and when I stare at them, it makes me wonder how people in the past were able to commit so much time and effort into their works.

Close up of a cabbage.
Come back next Friday for another Past Point of Interest!