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The Gubbio studiolo, a small private study that is a masterpiece of Italian Renaissance intarsia, was reinstalled in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1996. It is valued not only for its perspectival inlay—a tour de force of illusionism—but also for its rich historical associations and beauty. Made for Federico da Montefeltro, a fifteenth-century condottiere, the studiolo has intarsia panels that display a dazzling array of the accoutrements of the duke’s life. This treasure trove is rendered with the most admirable understanding of the laws of perspective. The objects depicted and the shadows that give them such volume are composed of thousands of pieces and slivers of different varieties of wood, each set with uncanny accuracy.
This two-volume, lavishly illustrated publication presents an in-depth discussion of this famous work of art. In the first of the two volumes, Olga Raggio focuses on Gubbio’s political history and architectural and urban development, the achievements of da Montefeltro and his role in the creation of the studiolo, and the history of the studiolo, and Martin Kemp examines the Gubbio perspectival system. In the second volume, Antoine M. Wilmering discusses the conservation of the Gubbio studiolo and the history, materials, and techniques of intarsia work.
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