Paintings on Stone presents over thirty oil paintings on semi-precious stones in an aim to convey the immense depth of imagination displayed by the often anonymous artists of the 16th and 17th centuries who interpreted the stone’s natural beauty to create distinctive scenes.
Giorgio Vasari wrote that the technique of painting on stone was originally developed in Rome by Sebastiano del Piombo, a rival of Raphael. By the late 16th century these paintings, combining Naturalia – the beauty of the nature – with Artifica – the skill and imagination of the artist – became sought-after among the highest circles of connoisseurs and the aristocracy.
Inspired by the boundless figurative potential of semi-precious stones, artists throughout the 16th and 17th centuries added painted figures, boats or trees, according to their interpretations of the stone’s natural patterns. It was their way of taming the primordial cosmic forces – the triumph of man over nature.
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