ROSSI, Properzia de'
(b. ca. 1490, Bologna, d. 1530, Bologna)

Grassi Family Crest

1510-30
Silver filigree and carved peach and plum stones, 39 x 22 cm
Museo Civico Medievale, Bologna

In addition to works on a large scale and in marble, Properzia was known for her carvings on very small surfaces, including peach pits. These works of great virtuosity were best suited - according to the mentality of the time - to the capacities of a woman, in that they were based on diligence and patience.

The picture shows a double-eagle coat of arms commissioned by the Grassi family, an illustrious Bolognese family. The crest is a valuable element in Properzia's rich output as a peach-stone carver. On the faces of the eleven peach and plum stones mounted in the setting, martyrs and virgins are portrayed in full length, with mottos and specific iconography.

While the sculptor of the peach and plum stones is identified as Properzia, the master of the silverwork of the eagle and filigree is undetermined.




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