"The Gubbio Studiolo and Its Conservation" by Olga Raggio

The Gubbio Studiolo and Its Conservation Volume 1: Federico da Montefeltro`s Palace at Gubbio and Its Studiolo; Volume 2: Italian Renaissance Intarsia and the Conservation of the Gubbio Studiolo Olga Raggio, Antoine M. Wilmering

Metropolitan Museum of Art Series
Publication date:
11 Aug 2000
Metropolitan Museum of Art
504 pages: 279 x 216mm
102 b/w + 390 color illus.


The Gubbio studiolo, a small private study that is a masterpiece of Italian Renaissance intarsia, was reinstalled in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1996. It is valued not only for its perspectival inlay—a tour de force of illusionism—but also for its rich historical associations and beauty. Made for Federico da Montefeltro, a fifteenth-century condottiere, the studiolo has intarsia panels that display a dazzling array of the accoutrements of the duke’s life. This treasure trove is rendered with the most admirable understanding of the laws of perspective. The objects depicted and the shadows that give them such volume are composed of thousands of pieces and slivers of different varieties of wood, each set with uncanny accuracy.

This two-volume, lavishly illustrated publication presents an in-depth discussion of this famous work of art. In the first of the two volumes, Olga Raggio focuses on Gubbio’s political history and architectural and urban development, the achievements of da Montefeltro and his role in the creation of the studiolo, and the history of the studiolo, and Martin Kemp examines the Gubbio perspectival system. In the second volume, Antoine M. Wilmering discusses the conservation of the Gubbio studiolo and the history, materials, and techniques of intarsia work.

Olga Raggio is Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Chairman, department of European sculpture and decorative arts, and adjunct professor of art history at New York University. Martin Kemp is professor of the history of art at Oxford University and author of The Science of Art, published by Yale University Press. Antoine M. Wilmering is conservator, The Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

?[This book] shows [the Metropolitan Museum of Art] pulling out all the stops in terms of depth of scholarship and lavishness of presentation.??Apollo Magazine

?These two volumes are clearly laid out and well-produced, with copious illustrations of the highest quality. They contain scholarship of a remarkable detail and comprehensiveness, covering subjects much wider than their title might suggest. Such highly detailed and lavish volumes are an appropriate testament to the skill and invention of Renaissance intarslators, to the courtly cultures that employed them, and to the skill of the conservators who have restored their work for Gubbio to something approaching its former glory.??Rupert Shepherd, The Art Book

Winner of the Salimbeni Prize for Art History and Critics 2001, XIX edition