Piazza Navona and its artisans
During this itinerary you will visit the workshop of the sculptor Vincenzo Piovano, the old artistic workshop Mortet and the workshop of the silver making masters Franchi.
Vincenzo Piovano & figlie – Via dell’Orso, 26
Vincenzo Piovano is a sculptor and a wood engraver: originally from Priverno, in the Latina area, he opened his own workshop in 1973, where he still passes on one of the most traditional crafts. Specializing in various shaping and engraving techniques on various materials such as marble, ivory, gypsum and wood, Vincenzo Piovano has been working with some of the most renowned Roman institutions: each sculpture by Piovano is a true work of art, stemming from an unrelenting artistic research. Today his two daughters, Alessandra and Michela, have joined the family business, after specializing in specific fields: Alessandra is in charge of creating mosaics, whereas Michela works on gold plating and restoration of decorated work. Each product is crafted at the workshop, in full compliance with traditional techniques, using traditional crafting tools as well as original materials.
Bottega Mortet – Via dei Portoghesi, 18
Mortet’s old artistic workshop is linked to a French family of chiselers and goldsmiths who trained in Florence in the late 19th century, then relocated to Rome, where they have been active since 1890. Their workshop, boasting six consecutive generations of craftsmen, has been located at Palazzo Scapucci in central Rome for over seventy years: the establishment’s production, inspired by traditional
Renaissance art workshops, ranges from sculpture to goldsmithing, from repoussé to chiseling down to the creation of bronze pieces. The Mortet family’s creations are never mass produced, and often consist of unique pieces made to order, such as sacred art objects, commemorative medals, statues, jewellery and small to medium-sized artifacts. Clients of the establishment include the Holy See and the Presidency of the Italian Republic, as well as top international institutions.
Franchi argentieri dal 1886 – Via Tor di Nona, 60
Roberto and Claudio Franchi work at the historic family workshop established in 1886, having inherited the know-how of four generations of Roman silvermaking masters. They both joined the workshop at a very young age, and after learning the techniques for restoring and preserving vintage artifacts, they started researching to experiment with contemporary shapes, however still inspired by traditional Roman craftsmanship. The workshop boasts a long history of prestigious collaborations, including those with director Federico Fellini or Italian pop artist Franco Angeli, down to more recent creations for the Vatican, including the design and creation of the Fisherman’s Ring for Pope Benedict XVI and the Acheiropoieta Icon made for the Easter liturgy. The rich catalogue of the workshop’s collections ranges from artistic tableware to sacred art objects, through to jewellery creations.
After the visit of these workshops, with your private guide you will admire the Contarelli Chapel in the San Luigi dei Francesi church where there are three marvellous Caravaggio paintings: the Calling of St. Matthew, the Martyrdom of St. Matthew and St. Matthew and the Angel. Here you will notice Caravaggio’s use of light and shadow for which he was famous.