Monday, July 03, 2006

Landscape with an obelisk and the Imperial coat of arms

Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery currently have an exhibition ‘Art At The Rockface: The Fascination of Stone’. In addition to the work of artists like Turner and Henry Moore, it has other types of stone object, including a collector’s cabinet produced by the Castrucci workshop in Prague in about 1610. In this and other designs, like this cabinet in Vienna, the workshop created miniature stone landscapes embedded in furniture. As the website of the Liechtenstein Museum puts it, “the impressionistic reproduction of an idealised landscape through colour patches and the natural pattern of the stones is typical of Castrucci style.” The workshop was founded by the Florentine Cosimo Castrucci and continued after Cosimo’s death with his son Giovanni. There is an entry on pictorial stones in the Giornale Nuovo blog, which discusses the Castruccis’ commessi di pietre dure and includes two nice images. Seen in isolation as a view of a town, the Landscape with an obelisk and the Imperial coat of arms has a very distinct and strange quality to it.

Postscript: a couple of examples can now be found on Wikimedia Commons so I am embedding them below.  
The second is in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna and dates from 1596:


1 comment:

Michael said...

Can anyone tell me: Who owns "Landscape with an Obelisk and the Imperial Coat of Arms" and where is normally kept. Sorry if this question is redundant. The blog was a bit confusing, in terms of which work was what. Also, further info about this specific piece would be appreciated.