Two Monks Shaving by E. Laschi, Florence, c. 1910
A very finely worked antique pietra dura plaque of a monk being shaved, signed in the upper right hand corner “E. Laschi”.
The subject here is charming: one old monk being shaved by another, a simple act of the kind that was hugely popular with late 19th century Italian artists. Here the level of detail in the cut stones and marbles is exquisite. Note how delicately the shaver’s glasses are described, and the amount of attention to the creases in the seated man’s face. The balance of tone and colour is also extremely delicate. As fine as a watercolour painting, but in stone.
The plaque is contained within its original ebonised reeded wooden case frame that opens as an easel. The frame has some damage, including a knock to the bottom left corner and a crack along the right hand side to the front, but given it is original to the plaque, we have kept them together. Much like the two characters in the image, they may be showing their age, but it would be a shame to separate them.