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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

DESIGN: Marble

Piazza del Popolo
Granito rosso
One of my treasured possessions is a piece of red granite [right] from Aswan in Egypt, which was given to me by an antique dealer in Rome and came from the Egyptian obelisk placed in 1589 in Piazza del Popolo, Rome, and was brought by Emperor Augustus to adorn the Circus Maximus.

Marble is one of the most noble of materials known to man. The Greek quarries of Paros, Pandelis, Carrara marble from Tuscany, amongst many others, are a part of our history from antiquity to the present day.  There are two books which aesthetes and designers should possess: Marmi antichi published by Leonardo-de Luca, a comprehensive documentation of quarrying marble in antiquity, and the use of Roman marbles in Mediaeval times, The Rennaissance, and the XVI to XIX centuries.   It is marvellously annotated [in Italian] with colour photographs, etc....invaluable.

Very glamorous and equally useful is Delle Pietre Antichi, a treasure on Roman marbles, by Faustino Corsi, published by Franco Maria Ricci.

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POETRY: Osip Mandelstam