Mario Montelatici, son of Giovanni, began making Pietre dure mosaics at the age of nine, completing his last work just four days short of his death in 1974 at the age of 90. Drawing inspiration for his compositions from the paintings of the Tuscan Macchiaiolo School and Southern Italian artists, his production encompassed a wide variety of themes, with particular emphasis on scenes of domesticity and rural life.
The present lot is typical of his work, both in its superlative technique, and its genre subject. The chosen subject here is after a painting by Stefano Bruzzi (d.1911), which won a price in the Parma Exhibition of 1888.
Another example of this panel, commissioned by Marjorie Merriweather Post for Mar-a-Lago, is part of the the Gilbert collection (Cf. A. Massinelli, The Gilbert Collection, Hardstones, London 2000, p.175).
A third example sold in these rooms 7 March 1996 ($57,500).