May 17 to September 11, 2011 – Galleria d’Arte Moderna Palazzo Pitti
The exhibition is linked to the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, focusing on a specific theme, Florence and international: a new path opened after 1861 for the brilliant artistic manufacture, which had flourished for three centuries in the shadow of the grand-ducal court of Tuscany and became famous throughout Europe for its inimitable creations in precious stones. It was with the creation of the kingdom of Italy that the old Works Gallery, founded by the Medici, had to change it status of laboratory to the exclusive service of the court, to open the market and offer its excellent creations to private customers , among which were buyers such as the czar of Russia and Ludwig II of Bavaria. The creations that Opificio delle Pietre Dure realized in the last decades of the ‘nineteenth century, even when aimed at the emerging middle class is distinguished for the richness of materials and exquisite technique. Wall panels, table tops, boxes, sculptures and ornamental stones and more fascinating, the chromatic splendor of precious stones. All, put in works carried out with pictorial sensibility, but also with the latest decorative inventions of the artistic taste of the time. Applied arts such as painting and sculpture, are also represented in the exhibition through examples created by the old laboratory, under the new name of Opificio delle Pietre Dure.