Museo dell'Opificio delle Pietre Dure

The museum

The Opificio delle Pietre Dure is a State Institute specialising in the restoration of works of art. It is home to one of the leading Schools of Restoration in Europe and also houses a Museum. Its origins date back to the time of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, when in 1588 Grand Duke Ferdinando I de’ Medici founded a court workshop specialising in inlays of semi-precious stones. The idea was to train highly specialised artists who would create the inlays for the Chapel of the Princes of the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence.

The collection

The structure of the Museum – founded in 1882 – reflects the very essence of the Institute: the works on display do not correspond to a precise collecting intention, but rather exemplify the Opificio’s activity and outline its historical path during its three centuries of activity.

In 1995, the Museum was renovated by Adolfo Natalini and the collection of works on display was also rearranged. The curator, Anna Maria Giusti, has followed a thematic criterion, constructing a chronological itinerary of the development of the Florentine commesso technique, the technique of stone inlay. The museum itinerary makes it possible to retrace the entire production process of these works, from its conception to the finished work, thus bearing witness to one of the richest episodes in Florentine artistic history.

The artworks

Section I: The First Grand Dukes and hard stones

  • Head of the dying Alexander, known from 1550, Francesco Ferrucci del Tadda (1497-1585)
  • Medici coat supported by putti, Francesco Ferrucci del Tadda (1497-1585)
  • Effigy of Cosimo I, ante 1568, Francesco Ferrucci del Tadda (1497-1585)
  • Table with parrot, 1600
  • Panels with flower pot

Section II: The Chapel of the Princes

  • Formella con ghirlanda di alloro e olivo, 1849
  • Two formelle with Tuscan landscapes, 1608
  • Head of Cosimo I
  • Formella with Elia and the Angel, 1612

Section III: Hard stones flowers

  • Views by Giuseppe Zocchi
  • Panel with sunflower
  • Formella with little bird

Section IV: The last medici

  • Table cabinet with naturalistic mosaics
  • Table cabinet with landscapes
  • Formella with the Fama
  • Chamber stoup, early 17th century XVIII

Section V: Il Laboratorio delle Pietre Dure

  • Formella of Alvaro Monnini
  • Bench for cutting the Florentine mosaic
  • Workbench for glyptics, late 1600s

Photo: Commesso Fiorentino Technique, Museo dell’Opificio delle Pietre Dure

VIA DEGLI ALFANI, 78, 50122 FLORENCE
Opening hours:

The Museo dell’Opificio delle Pietre Dure is open Monday to Saturday from 8:15 am to 2 pm.
The ticket office and bookshop close at 1:30 pm.

Closing time:

Sunday; public holidays; 24 June, feast of the patron saint of Florence.

Average visit time:

1 hour

Books and guides

Merchandise

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