Neoclassical 19th century Italian scagliola table surface
Italy, 19th Century
Diameter: 50.5cm, depth 1cm
Comprising a decorative outer band with leaves and acorns in a wreath around a central space with a singular figure, this excellent circular table top was crafted in Italy in the nineteenth century from scagliola, a type of plaster decoration that was often used in this period to imitate other media and art forms, especially precious stones. In this piece it imitates Classical vase painting, in particular red-figure painting done against a white ground, a common technique in 5th century Attica. A single female figure glides across the central space, elegant and weightless, and she encased in this rich outer band, creating a pleasing contrast between the figurative interior and the ornamental exterior.