A SET OF FOUR ITALIAN PIETRA DURA PANELS, FLORENCE CIRCA 1700
each depicting a bird on a flowering branch
13 x 23cm.; 5⅛in., 9in.
In overall good condition. Minor old marks, scratches and cracks consistent with age and use. Some chips to the edges and corners, as expected. Some adhesive residue to the border of one panel. Each panel has a refilled hole to their bottom which indicates the panels were previously on a cabinet, and the holes corresponded to drawer handles. Of great quality and well drawn.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
These four panels underline the importance of the painter and designer Jacopo Ligozzi (1547-1626) who influenced Florentine pietre dure workshops as the fashion for images with birds and flowers grew extensively in the first half of the 17th century. Much like Ligozzi achieved through his drawings, the composition of each panel succeeds to emulate nature thanks to the impressive skills of the Florentine craftsmen who were undoubtedly at the time the very best in the trade to achieve these type of images.
Jacopo Ligozzi was the court painter of the Medicis and worked not only in close connections with the famous naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi, but also prepare designs and cartoons for the production of the Opificio. His drawings were, for example, the basis for the design of the altar in the Church of Ognissanti built under the patronage of the Bardi. Most importantly, his drawings were the source of inspiration for the fiorante, the painters specialized in depicting flowers and in charge of supplying designs to the Galleria dei Lavori. The demand for these panels was so popular that the manufacture had a stock of these panels destined to be mounted on cabinets, caskets and other furniture pieces, much of which were bought individually by visitors to bring back and have them mounted as they wished in their home country.