Antique Pietra Dura Plaque of a Boy & Girl Blowing Bubbles
Florence, Italy, c. 1910
Probably by Giovanni Montelatici
A large antique pietra dura plaque of rare quality, depicting a boy and a girl blowing soap bubble in a rustic kitchen.
The subject of this plaque is most charming. Rather than cleaning or busying themselves with a myriad of household chores, this young couple prefer to enjoy the simple pleasure of blowing bubbles in the afternoon heat. The tone and light of this piece is extremely accomplished, using sard and chalcedony to great effect, with a slight dash of lapis for contrast. A great deal of well-considered work went into this plaque, and the result is truly charming.
There is some pitting to some of the stone leaving it rough and unpolished to the touch (around the top left of the picture), but in this particular instance, given the general colour palette and the rustic imagery, it seems appropriate and may well have been the original condition when it left the workshop. Note that the frame is later.
By the style of the work, in comparison with other known plaques of this calibre, it is highly probable that this is by Giovanni Montelatici. It is a hard to find plaque, of great quality.