IN 1588 FERDINANDO I DEI MEDICI ESTABLISHED THE OPIFICIO DELLE PIETRE DURE AS A LABORATORY FOR THE PREPARATION OF ORNAMENTS FOR THE TOMBS OF THE MEDICI FAMILY IN THE CHAPEL OF THE PRINCES WITHIN THE CHURCH OF SAN LORENZO.
We will observe these artifacts very closely: jasper, mother-of-pearl, malachite, lapis lazuli, all kinds of quartz, precious marbles become carved designs so precisely that they have been called "stone paintings" in the nineteenth century.
The most refined works are conserved in palaces and museums all over Europe and have often been donated by the Florentine Grand Dukes. In the production laboratories there are some unfinished or modified works with some works that survived the dispersions of the nineteenth century, which ended in 1882 with the creation of a museum hosting the collection.
The collection outlines the three-century historical path of the processing of these works with remarkable charm and prestige. It also preserves an important supply of ancient marbles and hard stones collected specifically for the implementation of the “commesso” technique.
Thanks to the reorganization of the collection you can retrace the complete process of the works’ creation and discover a fascinating part of Florentine artistic history. The exhibition follows a thematic criterion: the works of the Medici and Lorraine in the grand-ducal period are documented in their own hall, while those of the post-unification period in the nineteenth-century halls. The mezzanine floor of the hall is dedicated to the processing techniques: the large stone sample collection, workbenches, tools, and some examples of the production phases of carvings.
Take a whole hour for yourself and let our expert guide explain the wonderful techniques to create works with great artistic and social value from the time of the Medici up to the nineteenth century, when the factory became a Restoration workshop of famous paintings and sculptures.
Available days: Every day from Monday to Saturday
Bookable Starting Time: From 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Duration: 1 hours
All, on reservation
Adult rate: The rate of the tour depends on the number of people. CALCULATE YOUR OWN RATE!
Child rate: From 6 years to 17 years with ID Please insert number of people.
Meeting Point: At the entrance of Opificio delle Pietre Dure, via degli Alfani 78, Florence