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• Opificio delle Pietre Dure Entrance ticket (no guided tour - only entrance ticket) • Free time to visit the Museum on your own • Helpline with local staff
Visit the collection of pietre dure works, where the stones become art.
The museum of the Opificio Delle Pietre Dure is a direct descendent of the Pietre Dure workshop founded in 1588 by Ferdinando I de’ Medici. The works that remained to be incorporated into the museum in 1882 were those that survived the nineteenth-century dispersal of much of the collection.
These included unfinished pieces that were in the workshop at the time or were in the process of being modified and remounted. The collection contains very evocative and refined works and illustrates the evolution of the work-shop, extending over three centuries.
The museum also has an important reserve of ancient marble and semi-precious stones, most of which were accumulated during the grand duchy when they were used in the manufacture of Pietre Dure objects.
This extraordinary museum dedicated to semi-precious stone inlays, where artistic talent competes only with the splendor of the materials employed.
This grand ducal institution, which remained active for down three centuries, was the core of the Opificio Delle Pietre Dure, established at the end of the 19th century, and still has the royal seat in the original location chosen in 1798 for the laboratories formerly housed in the Uffizi.
The Florentine production was prestigious and nowadays is represented by the fine examples preserved both in Florentine and foreign museums. Yet, this small museum is the only institution that focuses only on this theme and offers, therefore, the opportunity of fully understanding this suggestive chapter of Florentine history.
The collection is arranged by themes in chronological order. The first section is dedicated to The first Grand dukes and semi-precious stone. This section displays porphyry sculptures dating back to the age of Cosimo I de'Medici, who had a special predilection for this ancient and precious material, enriched by sophisticated furniture pieces made for his sons, Francesco I and Ferdinando I. The so-called "Florentine brand" dates back to this period, that is to the late 16th century.
The brand, that would continue to be for centuries the pride of the laboratory, consists of a very imaginative mosaic technique that used natural colours and precious stones, cut in sections and skilfully matched to form a larger image.
Florentine mosaics were defined as “stone Painting” because this technique enables representing a varying range of subjects, fully represented in the museum, that range from landscapes to stories with figures, from portraits to abstract subjects, from architectural views to natural themes.
The Opificio Delle Pietre Dure experienced a financial decline after the unification of Italy, although its artistic level continued to the very high. Its products were sold to bourgeois customers and comprised table tops, small refined objects, small sculptures in semi-precious stones, all characterized by an impeccable style and an extraordinary taste in the matching of colours.
PIETRE DURE STONE LABORATORY
Looking at these works of art and admiring their complex yet natural beauty, visitors often wonder how these works are created. These questions find an answer in the section dedicated to The Laboratory of Semi-Precious Stones guides visitors through the complex procedure that leads to the creation of florentine mosaics and inlays.
The incredible marble table displayed by these artisans comprises hundreds of samples of precious stones. The table also represents models of drawings and graphs that have been specifically created to be reproduced with semi-precious stones. This section also offers a view of the 18th century working tables, rather ingenious yet functional, and of the tools used to carry out the different production stages.
•Please be aware that €3,00 per pax have been added to the Entrance ticket price as management, booking and assistance rights. •Please note that Children 0-18 are free of charge, and will only pay reservation fee only with a valid ID and accompanied by an adult. No refund will be given if you do not accomplish the requirements. •Please note that Students 19-25 have a reduced fee, only with a valid ID. No refund will be given if you do not accomplish the requirements. •Please make sure to check your inbox as confirmation voucher to exchange with entrance tickets will be sent only via e-mail. •Please be aware that entrance time can be subject to Museum availability - for this reason this will be confirmed once booking is done. If the selected time is fully booked, you will be contacted and another entrance time will be offered. Otherwise you will get full refund.