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Who is Mario Navarrete | What Mario Navarrete Does | How You Can Purchase

The terms "mosaico fiorentino" (Florentine mosaic), "commesso" and "intarsio fiorentino" (Florentine inlay) are used for mosaic compositions rich in chromatic values, since stones of various colours are utilized, such as malachite, rodonite, calcedony, lapislazuli etc.
The technique consists in using the natural characteristic of "chiaro/scuro" (light/dark) of the stones, called "spotting". The original design is divided into pieces which are sticked on the stone and then, in turn cut, filed and fitted together with a special glue. Once the mosaic surface has been composed, it is smoothed on the back where afterwards a piece of slate is sticked on. The mosaic surface is then carefully hand polished with carborundum (using first thick grain until the finest one) and with a sheet of lead.
The inlay, already known in ancient Roman times as "opus sectile", was used with highly refined techniques in the late antique period and was widely practiced; furthermore we find in the Paleochristian and Byzantine periods. However, the great tradition was above all developed in Middle Ages in Tuscany, where it assumed its typical bichromatic characteristics (Florence: Battistero, S. Miniato al Monte).
From the 14th century its chromatic values are further enriched in a picturesque style (pavement of the Duomo of Siena). In the 16th century the technique was still more eleborated; this kind of mosaic became famous all over Europe through the Medici's Court. In the 17th and 18th century stones of extraordinary and rare beauty arrived in Florence from Rome, Costantinople and from the Far East through Venice.
During the Renaissance, while collecting art became a fashionable activity, stimulated also by an antique market, the technic of "commesso" began to be developed under the patronage of Cosimo de' Medici and continued also during the government of his sons Francesco and Ferdinando: they were the employers of the great family mausoleum, the Chapel of the Princes of San Lorenzo in Florence, extraordinary for its use of rare and precious materials.
It was Francesco de' Medici who wanted the work of the Florentine masters furthermore enhanced by selected foreign virtuosi, to improve the technique.
On September 3rd, 1588 a "stabile ordinamento" (permanent order) was given in the Opificio delle pietre Dure (Workshop of Hard Stones) in Florence, where it still exists. In the same period schools of this kind were opened in Naples, Madrid and Paris. The latter schools however did not last long, whereas the one in Florence has lasted through the centuries, and is still working in the original tradition.

MARIO NAVARRETE NIÑO was born in Colombia. He studied Fine Arts in Colombia, Spain and Italy. He lives and works in Florence, where he devotes his art to Florentine mosaic and the restoration of the antique mosaics. His mosaic works can be found in private collections in Italy, Spain, United States, Japan, Australia and museum Idar Oberstein, Germany.

Mosaics in this catalogue are only a brief introduction of works made by Mario Navarrete Niño.

How it works and what you can ask for...
Of course, any mosaic you request is not a specific product and it is very hard to fix a price in advance. This is the reason why we need you to write an e-mail explaining us what you want.
The price depends on the dimensions of the pieces, quantities of pieces and on the value of the semi precious stones choosen to make the colours. Here is what you can choose:
Choose a general subject (i.e. View of Florence, Painting Reproduction, ...)
Choose the dimensions you want
Then you will receive a full colour drawing of the mosaic according to your dimensions, the final price and the time needed to carry it out.


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