Micromosaic Brooch by Luigi Moglia Depicting a Little Phalene Dog
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This Gold and Micromosaic brooch, crafted by Luigi Moglia around 1840, features a charming depiction of a small dog. Notably, Moglia's signature, "LM," is delicately placed in the grass beneath the canine figure. The Museo Borgogna in Vercelli proudly exhibits a reproduction by Moglia of Guido Reni's magnificent fresco, "Aurora," originally housed in the Palazzo Pallavicini Rospigliosi, Rome.
Originating from the Vatican Mosaic Studio established in 1727, this micromosaic reflects the pinnacle of artistic mastery in Rome. The studio attracted the finest mosaic artisans, making Rome a captivating destination for Grand Tour travelers. The city's squares and landmarks, immortalized by countless artists, inspired not only grand paintings and sculptures but also intricate micromosaics. These miniature marvels, showcasing classical motifs alongside everyday scenes, animals, and flora, captivated viewers with their meticulous design, vibrant colors, and harmonious compositions.
Initially, micro mosaics were crafted on copper supports, with stone or glass tesserae. Later, stone and glass became preferred materials, especially for mounting in gold or silver settings, transforming simple plaques into exquisite jewelry pieces such as necklaces, bracelets, brooches, earrings, rings, and pendants. During the early 19th century, it became fashionable for affluent ladies on the Grand Tour to assemble parures composed of micro mosaic plaques, each depicting a different destination or scene.