Micromosaic plaque by Monticelli from the Vatican Mosaic Workshop

By Vatican Mosaic Workshop (Italian, opened 1727)


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This superb and unusually large micromosaic depicts a classicising vase set atop a bracketed shelf. The vase is filled with a broad bloom of flowers: blossoms of pink, red, and blue intermingle with green leaves to create a wonderful array. The vase, flowers, the shelf below are set above a deep black ground, which serves to enhance the vibrancy of the colours of the bouquet. The entire composition has been wrought from exceptionally fine variegated polychrome tesserae, thousands of which have been skillfully inlaid to produce a truly spectacular work.

The micromosaic is contained within an ornate carved wood frame.

The reverse of the frame is affixed with a worn sticker which details various aspects of its provenance. The piece was produced by a certain Monticelli, who worked within the Vatican Mosaic Workshop or Studio. This Workshop, which was established formally in 1727, not only functioned as the centre of restoration of antique mosaics held by the Vatican, but also served as an atelier where artisans produced pieces, often for purchase by well-heeled Grand Tourists. The present piece is an excellent example of the craft.

Frame: Height 56cm, width 47cm, depth 3.5cm
Plaque: Height 45cm, width 37cm, depth 0.5cm


Artist / Maker
By Vatican Mosaic Workshop (Italian, opened 1727)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
c. 1870
Late 19th Century
Classical, Floral, Renaissance, Still life
Micro-mosaic, Wood
Black, Multi-coloured


56 cm / 22 inches
47 cm / 18.5 inches
3.5 cm / 1.2 inches


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