The Florentine artist Giovanni Montelatici (d. 1930) is often credited with revitalising the skill of 'painting' in pietre dure, an art which had fallen into a steady decline since the mid-19th century. In 1898, Montelatici went into business with Galileo Chini (d. 1857), an artist from Mugello, near Florence, and the two men exhibited jointly at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle, winning a gold medal for their large table inlaid with a scene of the Annunciation. Following the success in Paris, Montelatici established a large workshop on the Via Arnolfo, known as La Musiva (see photo below left) appointing Chini as its artistic director. The business flourished during the early decades of the 20th century, when Montelatici was joined by his two sons, Mario and Alfonso, and when foreign buyers were plenty. Inspired by the paintings and subjectmatter of the Tuscan Macchiaiolo School and Southern Italian artists, production encompassed a wide variety of themes, with particular emphasis on scenes of domesticity and rural life. The present plaque, with its tender depiction of an infant child taking her first steps, is a fine example of the former.