SCAGLIOLA: A Little history

 

Everything began in the XV and XVI century in Bavaria and Florence. There, to decorate palaces and churches, architects did not skimp on marble, whether in panels, pilasters or columns. So much so that the material is missing. Artisans then mixed plaster and pigments with degraded, veins and inlays, the poncèrent and the so-so dexterity that the imitation was perfect.

During his visit to Florence, Maximilian I was impressed by the gems that decorated the Medici chapels. He thus instructed Blasius to cover the walls of his chapel with marbled and inlaid Scagliola. It can therefore be said that the Scagliola, also called Stuccomarmo, was born from a desire to imitate the most precious materials. Moreover, more malleable, the artisans could colour it and decline it at their own whim.

Nowadays, specialists sometimes have trouble distinguishing marble from stucco-marble scagliola so much imitation is perfect!

 

 

In order to keep the secret of his techniques, Blasius was forced to work in the shelter of the eyes. He was allowed to pass his know-how only to his son Wilhelm, who later executed panels mounted on walls depicting scenes from the life of Mary. The whole work is of such beauty and technical perfection that the place is considered the Sistine Chapel of the Scagliola.
In the early 17th century, in the region of Carpi (Emilia Romagna) appeared the first works of Italian Scagliola, whose invention is attributed to Guido Fassi around 1610.
The artists of Carpi become famous for their magnificent inlay of white on a black background that we see on the front of the altars of the churches, as well as for their incredible colourful inlays fondant delicately from one color to the other, Representative of incredible spirals of acanthus leaves of typically baroque inspiration
During the 18th century, the use of Scagliola spread throughout Continental Europe and finally to Britain. Prestigious examples of Scagliola include the columns and pilasters of the Buckingham Palace and Syon House by Robert Adam.

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