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Siena-Primavera Wall Plaque by Pietro Giusti (?), circa 1855

Maker(s):  Pietro Giusti (?), circa 1855
Date: Circa 1855
Materials/Techniques:    Carved walnut, ebony and ivory, enclosed in glass and wood frame
Dimensions: h 13.0 "
w 9.0 "

Origin: Italian
Inventory #: 688
33 x 23 cm


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The art of carving wood with great virtuoso skill enjoyed a tremendous revival in Italy in the mid to late 19th century. Giusti, along with Egisto Gajani and Luigi Frullini, was one of the leading exponents in this technique working in Tuscany in the 1860's and 70's. He apprenticed in the workshop of the very talented intagliatore, Angiolo Barbetti (1805-73) before opening his own shop on the via Galgaria. He exhibited at many of the International exhibitions, attracting the attention of wealthy patrons such as Lord Northesk, the Duke of Northumberland, George Vivian and Sir Coutts Lindsay, founder of the Grosvenor Gallery. Between 1852-1856 he carved over 500 walnut frames in the mannerist (16th century) taste, and throughout his thirty-year

career he executed over three hundred other designs for decorative objects. Many of the frames, with differing designs, but basically incorporating the same arabesque and trailing foliage vocabulary with birds, were exhibited in London (1862) and in Paris (1867), and are illustrated in Masterpieces of 19th-century Decorative Art, Pepin Press, 2001, pp. 309, 342, 343.

Simone Chiarugi, 
Botteghe di Mobilieri in Toscana 1780-1900, Volume I, Florence, 1994, pp. 483-491.