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“The Cavalier” – The Vatican Mosaic Series 19th Century



Category: Product ID: 27735


The Vatican Mosaic Studio originally founded in 1576 to create and install mosaics in the basilica was producing portable mosaics to meet demands of the Grand Tourist trade by the nineteenth century (p.96). Portrayals of romantic historical figures such as the cavalier in the present lot were a popular subject matter, evocative of well-known literary characters described in novels by Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) and rendered in genre paintings like those by Ernest Meissonier (1815-1891) and Enrico Tarenghi (1848-1938). Such paintings would have served as visual sources for micromosaics (Gabriel, 2000, p.124).

In 1727, however, the Studio del Mosaico Vaticano (Vatican Mosaic Studio) was formally established. The studio is tucked away in a comparatively unassuming building in Vatican City. Here, a handful of highly talented artists and craftsmen have worked tirelessly over the years to restore the 10,ooo square meters of mosaics in Saint Peter’s Basilica, while at the same time creating original mosaic masterpieces. These artists were also pioneers of the filate enamels technique, which allowed them to create minuscule mosaic tiles that comprise the incredibly detailed works in the Basilica, which to the untrained eye often look more like paintings than mosaics.


Frame Size 28 1/4 x 25. 5/8 Picture Size 16 x 11.25




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