A Lavish Art and Craft
An astonishing exhibition entitled Piqué, Gold, Tortoiseshell and Motherof-Pearl in 18th century Naples is being held by the Galerie J. Kugel revealing the art of piqué, which flourished in Naples during the first half of the 18th century. It entailed a technique that combined lavish inventiveness, virtuoso skills and opulence. These objects, all of them extraordinary, bring together three precious materials, tortoiseshell, gold and mother-of-peal. The exhibition includes over 50 objects created between 1720 and 1760, mainly for connoisseurs and the court and particularly for the splendid court of Charles of Bourbon who would become king of Naples in 1734. One of the masterpieces on display is a shimmering table by Giuseppe Sarao on loan for the very first time from the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. The craftsmen who created the pieces were known as tartarugari and Sarao’s workshop adjoined the walls of the royal palace. To create these objects, the craftsmen would join and mould the tortoiseshell using boiling water and olive oil and also inlaid gold and the mother-of-pearl into the still soft shells. - P.V.
Showing through to December 8th 25 quai Anatole France (7th), 01 42 60 86 23