The Gubbio Studiolo

It’s been too long since I have written. I have been very busy teaching classes and time is flying by. I have so much to write about, but as I promised you in my last entry,  I would write about my trip to the Met.  So here you go….

The following day after visiting Silas’s shop, I went to New York City for a short visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I do believe if there were the seven wonders of woodworking this would be one of them! Housed in the Museum is this country’s greatest Italian Renaissance collection of art. A room called the Gubbio Studiolo. This room was originally done in a palace in Italy around 1470. The room is somewhat small but it is paneled with 8 ft panels of the most incredible marquetry. After seeing pictures of this room you would think that there are literally cabinets with the doors open and stuff on the shelves. Well those panels are totally flat. I know it is hard to believe but those walls are perfectly flat! No doors are open, they just look open! It really is incredible. The illusion is done with different species of wood inlaid to create the perspective. If you look close you will see the shadows, again created using different species of wood.

This work is extremely inspiring, just to think that this was done without the use of any power equipment, all the veneers were hand cut to thickness and then the profiles were hand cut with a knife and shaped to create this incredible work of art. If you look close you can see the smallest detail executed to perfection.

I have wanted to learn more about marquetry and after this short trip I am totally inspired! I will be doing some marquetry in the very near future.

The Met sells a small book for only 10 dollars which describes all about the Gubbio Studiolo, It also has some great pictures in it as well.

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