On a tip from Walter Cipriani Roma based scagliola Artist, we headed to The Sant'Andrea della Valle basilica which was designed by Giacomo Della Porta between 1590 and 1650. Once there we found a chapel that was made entirely of Scagliola. The craftsmanship was remarkable and these pictures do it no justice, but I am happy to share therm with you.
Friday, December 1, 2017
While on this research trip to Italy, I have encountered many examples of scagliola produced between the 16th - 18th centuries. I was really not prepared to see this work and it really swept me off my feet. The first encounter was as surprise, at the National Roman Museum - Palazzo Altemps.
The seat of the National Roman Museum at Palazzo Altemps houses important collections of antiquities consisting of Greek and Roman sculptures that in the 16th and 17th centuries belonged to various families of the Roman nobility. The scagliola was located on three of thew many doorways in the Palace, most were either painted to look like marble, or actual marble.
A truly fantastic example. this was also my first experience with the Italian style of painting marble. I became very interested in this. here is the painted doorway that was to mimic the scagliola. the painting style is much more impressionistic, and according to scagliola artist Walter Cipriani, the Italian way to paint marble is to channel the feeling of the marble, not to directly copy it.
Around a corner was the second example of a scagliola doorway, each example seem to be made by different artist.
This example was much more erratic and wild. Finally this gentle work:
Sunday, November 12, 2017
The plastering technique known as scagliola was developed in the Italian Baroque period and is made from a careful mixture of natural materials including gypsum, lime and raw pigments. A special "mother glue” and Bees wax is added to create the intense colors and patterns that mimic the look and complexities of marble, semi-precious stones, mosaics and inlaid stone. The process is laborious, complicated and stunning when complete. The unwritten and secretive technique is taught from master craftsman to student via workshops and apprenticeships, and this is how I learned the process. I have taken this traditionally decorative technique and transformed it into an artistic process that adds the sculptural to my previously two dimensional work.
Stills from a little video of process coming out soon!