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Pietre Dure, the Original Rock Stars

May 27th, 2009 | posted by Jim Cottrell

Pietre Dure is an art-historical term for the technique of using small intricately cut and highly polished stones to create what amounts to a painting in stone. I love the idea of painting in stone. You take the beauty that nature has formed in stone over millions of years, in every shape and color imaginable and use them to create incredibly detailed convincing pictures. To say the least, this is a painstaking art form… one that only few artisans over the centuries have mastered to perfection. We have had the pleasure over the years of offering some amazing example of Pietre Dure. Take for instance the spectacular pair of Russian Pietre Dure ormolu and malachite plinths that we acquired recently. The artist carefully selected stones that would portray the many elements in the classic scene of a vase with flowers. One stone illustrates the curve of a vase while another gives the delicate natural warmth of a flower petal. Each stone is cut and polished until it is perfectly suited for the “canvas.” A pair of plinths such as this would have taken many months to complete, but the result is amazing. If you’d like to learn more about Pietre Dure, or this lovely pair of plinths, I invite to you contact me.

Superb Russian Malachite and Pietra Dura Plinths

Superb Russian Malachite and Pietra Dura Plinths

Fondest regards,

Jim