Antique Pietra Dura Plaque of Cavaliers Drinking in a Cellar
Florence, Italy, c. 1885
A fantastic large Florentine antique pietra dura plaque depicting a group of drunken cavaliers carousing in a cellar.
The level of detail is quite superb: the crystalline quality of the glasses held by the serving woman; the fine depiction of the chess pieces; the attentive use of the grain of the marble to suggest the folds in the cloth of the drinkers. The plaque has all these marks of quality, but it is also the way it captures the attitude and character of the cavaliers: the man on his own is quite clearly more than well-cut, his jaded face telling of a thousand boozy nights. And then the energy of the others as they shout for more. Quite superb.
The plaque retains its original ebony frame, with fine carving and beautiful details.
The image is possibly after a painting by Tito Conti (1842 - 1942) or Pasquale Ruggiero (1851 – 1916), although as a type of genre scene popular amongst Italian artists around the turn of the century, it is tricky to pinpoint exactly which work this was based on.