|PIETRA DURA INLAY WORK WORK IN TILES.
Pietra dura is an Italian phrase that means "hard stone," and usually refers to the technique of creating intricate inlaid pictures from shaped colored stones. The stones used are usually silicates, including agates, alabaster, amethyst, jade, jasper, lapis lazuli, malachite, onyx, and topaz. The craft, developed in antiquity, originally consisted of shaping stones with small saws, wires and other metal instruments and adding them to decorative objects such as vases or small sculptures. The art was revived during the Renaissance by Italian craftsmen and the first hard-stone workshop was established by the Medici family in Florence in 1588. The art was also practiced at the courts of Naples, Madrid, Prague, Paris and elsewhere. From the late 16th century, the colorful stones were arranged on marble as landscapes and flower scenes.