History & Today

It was Lodovico Zanini, Friuli delegate of the “Società Umanitaria” in Milanwho suggested the idea of a school for mosaic artists and Ezio Cantarutti, Major of Spilimbergo, who carried out the work.   Thus, in 1922, the Friuli School of Mosaic in Spilimbergo was born.  The reason for Spilimbergo and not elsewhere was because of the deep-rooted tradition of mosaic and terrazzo present in the district.   In fact, during the 500s, 600s, 700s, and 800s there was strong seasonal emigration to Veniceby locals, the artistic meeting point between East and West, where Roman and Byzantine mosaic tradition was magnificently founded.    The “Serenissima” offered workers fromFriuli a job but also gave them a brilliant idea: use stones from their own rivers. With these stones, artisans from Sequals, Colle, Solimbergo, Arba, Fanna, Cavasso Nuovo and Spilimbergo – after having collected and selected them from the Meduna and Tagliamento riverbeds- left forVenice. From the first half of the 800s mosaic artists started to move beyondVenice: fromFrance to theUnited States, fromCanada toVenezuela and fromArgentina toAustralia. A lot of them made large fortunes especially Gian Domenico Facchina who was born in Sequals in 1826 and initially worked inVenice where he established a factory for producing Venetian Smalti. He then moved to Paris where he created esteemed works of art that went on to adorn town halls, churches, mosques, palaces in Bucharest, Aia, Smirne, Lourdes Buenos Aires and Tokyo as well as the Opera Theatre in Paris. Right from the start, the Friuli School of Mosaic achieved its first important recognition: the allocation of the diploma of honour at the First International Exhibition of Decorative Art inMonza for a fountain created on cartoon by the Arch. Raimondo D’Aronco.   Study periods were structured into three years and the curriculum included both subjects of a general cultural nature and the development of drawings, sketches and cartoons.  All indispensable subjects for mosaic creation, supported by practical mosaic and terrazzo exercises in the laboratory.  The School was then asked to carry out the complete mosaic series for the Foro Italico inRome.  Nearly 10,000 sq accomplished on cartoons belonging to Angelo Canevari, Giulio Rosso, Gino Severini and Achielle Capizzano.

Nowadays theFriuli Schoolof Mosaic is a worldwide reference point for the training of professionals and the spreading of the art of mosaic. The school is one-of-a-kind as it brings students from all over the world into the region and exports works of art to some of the most important places, from New Yorkto Peking and from Tokyoto Saint Antonio. The School objective is to unite tradition with innovation. Therefore it aims towards experimentation and research in order to seek new solutions. For this reason, apart from traditional subject such as mosaic and terrazzo, computer graphics, mosaic design and colour theory are also studied. Over the last few years, the School has opened up in all fields. It operates in various sector: from architecture to design; from contemporary art to restoration. There have been numerous works completed together with architects and designers both italian and foreign, that adorn restaurants, churches and villas all over the world, for example Saetta Iridescente in New Yorkor the mosaic pavement between Gorizia and Nova Gorica. Also worthy of comment is the work carriedn out on sketches by impoprtant artist lik Zigaina, Cascella, Licata, Spacal and many more.


Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli 1922-2012. 90 anni di storia

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