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Picture

  • Place of origin:

    Rome (made)

  • Date:

    1820 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Morelli, Giovanni (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Micromosaic, gilt wood frame

  • Credit Line:

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

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.226:1, 2-2008

  • Gallery location:

    Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 72, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries, case East Wall []

The landscape and natural waterfalls of the Italian mountain town of Tivoli were great attractions to tourists in the 19th century. Among the many ancient ruins nearby was the villa of Hadrian, the ancient Roman Emperor, with its famous mosaic floor, which was uncovered in 1737.

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.

Physical description

Rectangular micromosaic depicting a view of Tivoli and the Marmora Falls. The mountain town can be seen in the upper right and in the lower foreground the cascading river with two figures in peasant costume.

Place of Origin

Rome (made)

Date

1820 (made)

Artist/maker

Morelli, Giovanni (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Micromosaic, gilt wood frame

Marks and inscriptions

Signed on lower left 'Gio.Morelli Fece 1820'

Dimensions

Height: 38.7 cm mosaic only, Width: 29.8 cm mosaic only, Height: 54.2 cm including frame, Width: 45.5 cm including frame, Depth: 5.0 cm frame

Object history note

Provenance: Antique Lovers Coterie, 1971.

Historical significance: Tivoli was in the region known as Tibur in the period of the Roman Republic. Named after Tiburnus (circa 500 BC) the Tiburtines were defeated by the Romans at Lake Regillus in 498 BC. Forty years later the town became a place of exile for important prisoners of state. The Tiburtines were given citizenship in 90BC and the town became a fashionable retreat.

Giovanni Morelli was born in Brescia in 1804 and studied with the famous hardstone artist Giacomo Raffaelli. Morelli worked at the Vatican under Napoleon (1804-9). There is an important hardstone snuffbox apparently signed 'S.Morelli via della Srofa N.8' in the Gilbert Collection which can be attributed to Giovanni Morelli. He worrked as a sculptor and stone carver on inlaid furniture, candelabra and picture frames and produced carved stone flowers and birds.

Historical context note

The scene depicts the Italian mountain town of Tivoli and the Marmora Falls on the Velino River. Tourists were as intrigued by these natural wonders as by the ancient Roman ruins at Tivoli including the villa of the Emperor Hadrian and the Temple of the Sibyl. The famous floor mosaic of the Capitoline Doves was discovered at Hadrian's Villa in 1737.

Descriptive line

Micromosaic view of Tivoli, Giovanni Morelli, Rome, c. 1825.

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

Avery, Charles, assisted by Arthur Emperatori. Mosaics from the Gilbert Collection: summary catalogue. Exhibition catalogue Victoria & Albert Museum. London: H.M.S.O. 1975, cat. no. 21.

Labels and date

[]
Views of Tivoli
1820

The landscape and natural waterfalls of the Italian mountain town of Tivoli were great attractions to tourists in the 19th century. Among the many ancient ruins nearby was the villa of Hadrian, the ancient Roman Emperor, with its famous mosaic floor uncovered in 1737.

Rome, Italy: Giovanni Morelli (active 1800-1825)
Glass micromosaic
Museum no.Loan: Gilbert.226:1,2-2008 [2009]

Materials

Mosaic glass; Gilt wood

Techniques

Micromosaic; Gilding; Framing

Categories

Plaques & Plaquettes

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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