marvel, art, nature, stone

The editorial production of the Paolo and Carolina Zani Foundation for art and culture is enriched with two new publications, a paper catalogue and an eBook, crowning the project The color of stones, included in the official programming Bergamo Brescia 2023 Capital of Culture. The initiative as a whole is dedicated to the artistic enhancement of the inlay and commissioned works in marble and semi-precious stones preserved both in the House Museum and in other places of historical and artistic interest of the two Lombard cities, elected as Capital of Culture for the year 2023 .

The starting point and junction of the entire cultural program is the octagonal table of the Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici, an absolute masterpiece of the House Museum, a sublime work of Florentine mosaic, from the end of the 17th century, which bears the name of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure of Florence, which reached goals of incomparable perfection through this extraordinary artefact.

So here is released, on the surface of a “simple” black table, a real “theater of nature” – almost as if it were a spectacular stone painting. The table, in comparison with Fiandra, was carved by inserting a frame inhabited by birds and arranged all around the perimeter. Continuing towards the center of the table, there is an intermediate crown made up of clusters of various fruits alternating with single birds, and a heart made up of a garland of various types of flowers and leaves.

The fulcrum of the editorial treatment is the paper catalogue, in which the wonderful grand-ducal table is the protagonist, which is accompanied by the studies of the other 15 works of the Zani corpus made with inlay. Essays and fact sheets of a historical, artistic, botanical, ornithological and petrographic nature are dedicated to the various works.

An artistic corpus collected by Paolo Zani between 1987 and 2018 which highlights a real predilection for marble and precious stone mosaic tops and tiles, hung on the walls like large paintings or set among modern marbles, treated as recovery to which to give a new identity. There are sixteen specimens that we can admire today along the exhibition itinerary, inside the 11 rooms of the House Museum – as can be seen from the text The house of colored stones by Massimiliano Capella – made between Rome and Florence from the second half of the sixteenth century to the end of the eighteenth century. An extraordinary corpus that documents in an excellent way the evolution of the technique and of the iconography of the commission and of the inlay of semi-precious stones: from the geometric theme and of the villages between the 16th and 17th centuries, to the flowers and animals between the 17th and 18th centuries, up to to the still life of old-fashioned vases at the end of the 18th century.

The eBook The octagonal trasure: marvel, art, nature, stone, is a real novelty among the editorial products of the Zani Foundation. It was born from the collaboration with the CFP Zanardelli Institute of Brescia, multimedia author course – from traditional technologies to augmented reality, as part of the initiatives promoted by the Lombardy Region Operational Program and co-financed by the European Social Fund, thanks to the “Lombardia Plus Linea Culture”. The project develops the idea of ​​young students to experiment with a digital version of the paper catalogue. The proposal is more concise and focused only on the octagonal table. An interactive journey with video presentations, captivating graphics and a dynamic text format with scroll arrows and reading schemes. The use on digital media, computers, smartphones, tablets is possible by directly downloading the eBook (it may be necessary to wait at least a minute for correct display).

These are two in-depth tools – catalogue and eBook – complementary and juxtaposed which intend to enhance the subject matter and the contents offered under different lights and functions for a journey into the engaging text and in close contact with the work of art.

(Attached are the instructions for programs or APPs to download to view the eBook correctly)