The art of Stone Inlay

An everlasting painting…

Our fascination for hard stones is ancient. Inheritaded from the Romans, the art of stone inlay was, for the great masters of the Renaissance, the “Eternal painting” that would never fade. The technique of marquetry of hard stones is using cut and adjusted coloured stones, finely polished to create images, like a marquetry using minerals instead of wood.

 

Cutting blocks and trimming fine stones is a long and meticulous work. Hard stone marquetry is a rare art which is no more than in a few highly specialized workshops. This art meets decorating projects for a demanding clientele. The craftsman can be led to realise traditional decorative motifs but also contemporary creations where marquetry becomes a painting.

In her beautiful book, Annamaria Giusti, the leading author of hard stone marquetry, sums up its story :
“From 1588 in Florence, the Medici founded a prestigious manufacture dedicated to mosaics of hard stones called Commessi. Coral, garnet, sapphire, etc… were used. The manufacture has been successful for three centuries thanks to the virtuosity of the best specialists. Other factories opened their doors in Prague, at the court of Rudolph II of Habsburg and at the Goblins of the Sun King, before spreading to the kingdoms of Bourbon, in Naples and Madrid. An international language of the “Florentine mosaic” is developed, capable of creating works of absolute beauty in the field of decorative arts.”

Sylvaine, whose creations you discover, exhume the pretty stones and transform them into works of art. She uses lapis-lazuli, tiger eye, jasper, jade, amethyst, onyx, aventurine, malachite… but also mother-of-pearl and gold. She has a fascination for Asian art, for Persian miniatures whose finesse, delicacy and great creativity she admires. She is also very attached to the theme of tales and legends in which the presence of animals is strong. Like RENÉE PARIS, Sylvaine is passionate about Art and Beauty…

 

 



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