A table in semi-precious stone commesso donated to the Museo dell’Opificio delle Pietre Dure

A table top, made of semi-precious stone commesso, depicting a Tuscan landscape with an owl and various birds (Civetta e uccelli in un paesaggio) was donated to the Museo dell’Opificio (2020) by Marchesa Donella Torrigiani Torelli. The precious artifact, referable to the passion of Grand Duke Ferdinando II (1621-1670) de’ Medici for the manufacture of commesso, is a work of particular rarity because there are few stone artifacts of that period left in Florence, usually intended to be donated. The representation, of particular beauty for the chromatic choice and the naturalistic references, is taken from a model of the Flemish painter Frans Snyders, collaborator of Rubens, that illustrates the allegorical fable, reported by Aesop, of the owl, symbol of wisdom, that tied to a pole to recall other birds li not to approach the branches covered of mistletoe, where they will remain entangled: the moral is not to despise the suggestions.

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