5 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting these images.They are wonerous.

    This is a fine art that spread from Italy far and wide. The Taj Mahal, built in the 17th century, in India has this style of inlay work with semiprecious stones on the inner walls. The small pieces are set without mortar so that a flashlight’s beam set up against a vine will illuminate the flowers and leaves on the vine for up to 3 feet. Boxes and plates are still being made in this medium.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Bess. The technique took on amazing technical proficiency and came to be used mostly as ornaments on furniture and such. It is interesting though, just as in painting, with the technical development of the Renaissance and Baroque, there is something of the “freshness” and directness that was lost. When I look at later images (known mostly as Pietra Dura after the Renaissance) they are impeccable but don’t come and grab you as I find the St-Eudocia icon does.

  2. Thank you for posting those images up, I’d totally forgotten about those examples. I’ve done a couple of pieces of Opus Sectile though there were done using an electric tile saw. I doubt this sort of work would be too difficult even using a iron wire saw if you wanted just hand tools. The drilling would be difficult, especially looking at the sizes of holes made. Beautiful work!

    1. Thank you for the comment, Lawrence. It is good to know there are still people practicing this ancient art.

  3. […] It is made from glazed stoneware and porcelain tiles adhered to Wediboard with thinset cement mortar, and grouted in three colors.  The “new technique” part of the deal is the cutting of each piece into a shape corresponding to one shape in the design.  This technique contrasts with doing mosaic by choosing many small pieces and making them add up to one shape in the design.  The technique has an ancient name:  opus sectile. […]

Comments are closed.