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Picture - Interno di Cantina
  • Interno di Cantina
    Vinea, Francesco, born 1845 - died 1902
  • Enlarge image

Interno di Cantina

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Rome (made)

  • Date:

    before 1967 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Vinea, Francesco, born 1845 - died 1902 (painter)
    Vatican Mosaic Workshop (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Micromosaic, gold

  • Credit Line:

    The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

To find out more about the making of pietre dure, watch the video Making a Pietre Dure panel (http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/videos/m/video-making-a-pietre-dure-panel)

Physical description

Rectangular micromosaic depicting a picturesque cantina with a large cask of wine on the left and in the foreground a smaller cask being decanted by a young woman in seventeenth century peasant attire. Seated to the right is a cavalier with his legs crossed holding a glass of red wine. Beside him, lying on the ground, is a brown and white dog.

Place of Origin

Rome (made)


before 1967 (made)


Vinea, Francesco, born 1845 - died 1902 (painter)
Vatican Mosaic Workshop (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Micromosaic, gold

Object history note

Provenance: Vatican Mosaic Workshop, 1967.

Historical context note

Micromosaics have their roots in the larger mosaics of ancient Rome used to decorate their walls and floors. The first micromosaics were created in the 18th century, but it was not until Arthur Gilbert himself became interested in collecting them and invented the term 'micromosaics' that they became known as such. The tesserae are minute pieces cut from thin pieces of glass known as smalti filati, and some of the finest micomosaics can consist of as many as 5,000 tesserae per square inch (ca. 3 by 3cm). By the late 18th century Rome had become central to the production of micromosaics and sold them as souvenirs to wealthy foreigners visiting the city. From small elegant snuffboxes to large monumental tabletops, micromosaics could be used to decorate objects of all shapes and sizes. They could even be made to resemble full-sized canvas paintings, and indeed Arthur Gilbert himself mistook his very first micromosaic for a painting. When he brought it home to show his wife, he had to convince her that it was not in fact a cracked painting, as she supposed, but a mosaic.

Descriptive line

Rectangular micromosaic depicting a picturesque cantina with a cavalier, after Francesco Vinea, Rome, before 1967.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Sherman, Anthony C. The Gilbert Mosaic Collection. Edited by M. Barbara Scheibel. West Haven, Connecticut: Pendulum Press, 1971, pp. 42-43, pl. XX.
Gabriel, Jeanette Hanisee with contributions by Anna Maria Massinelli and essays by Judy Rudoe and Massimo Alfieri. Micromosaics: The Gilbert Collection. London: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd. in association with The Gilbert Collection, 2000. 310 p., ill. Cat. no. 100, p. 168. ISBN 0856675113.
Massinelli, Anna Maria, with contributions by Iacopo Lastrucci. Painting in Stone. Modern Florentine Pietre Dura Mosaic. Florence: Inprogress, 2014, p. 111. ISBN 978-88-7542-232-5. Comparisons and Vinea's original painting


Mosaic glass; Gold


Micromosaic; Framing

Subjects depicted

Drinking; Romantic fiction; Wine; Love; Soldiers; Maid


Metalwork Collection

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