Giulio Romano.
An unconventional style.

The beauty of Mantua is also attributable to Giulio Romano, Raffaello’s pupil who arrived at the Court of Gonzaga in 1524 and worked there for the rest of his life. An extravagant painter, eccentric architect and tireless designer, he became the official artist – almost a “director” – for Frederick II, transforming the small capital into one of the most refined and famous places of the Renaissance.
So in the Palazzo Ducale and in the Tea Villa , but also in the Cathedral, in the Urbic gates, in the Fishmongers and in their own dwelling. After the classicism of another architectural genius – Leon Battista Alberti – here is the world of Giulio Romano celebrated in Mantua with two major exhibitions: at Palazzo Tea “Giulio Romano: Art and Desire”, at palazzo Ducale “With New and Extravagant Maniera”, both open October 6, 2019 to January 6, 2020.
Giulio Romano embodied a sensual aura to the figurative culture of the time, in a triumph of surprising shapes, colors and inventions. His voluptuous artistic conception stands out in The Mantuan exhibitions, focusing on the most original and sometimes almost secret aspects. This creative fantasy was the beginning of a new role for artists, called to confront every scale of design: from objects of use to ornaments, from buildings to the city. With Giulio Romano, the court of Gonzaga was unparalleled in elegance and sophistication.
The figure of the artist is presented through a close-up dialogue between the original works and the vast decorative and architectural apparatus of the Gonzaga environments. The paintings, the engravings, the treatises of architecture accompany the visitor along an extraordinary path. But it is above all the drawings preserved at the Louvre Museum, here exceptionally exposed, that make the Mantuan event special.
Among the official sponsors of the celebrations, Marmi Ghirardi and G1938 – Italian Stone Maestro pay tribute to Giulio Romano as a brilliant interpreter of sixteenth-century architecture and as an exquisite master of executive techniques. Mantua is a brick city, the interior decorations of the palaces are stucco; but here in the rooms of the Palazzo Tè are the beautiful chimneys made by Giulio with stones and precious marbles to accentuate the nobility of the spaces. The taste for the natural stones is made precious by the creativity of the creator: precisely what characterizes the high profile of Marmi Ghirardi in a tradition that continues to this day.

A Caribbean classic.

A Caribbean seabed 200 million years ago: this is the environment in which Botticino Classico marble was formed, and its warm beige colour is reminiscent of its primordial nature. Geological vicissitudes have meant that these deposits ended up on the first outgrowths of the Alpine chain, in northern Italy.
And Botticino is, in fact, the name of a village located in northern Italy, not far from the western shores of Lake Garda. Here, while looking for materials to use for the construction of their new settlements in northern Italy over 20 centuries ago, the ancient Romans discovered and began to quarry this marble, which would go on to become one of the most famous and widely used types of marble in the world.

Botticino is an extremely compact carbonate rock with a very fine grain, and is renowned for its warm colour and the presence of fossils and golden veins, which have made it unmistakable and very famous.

Botticino Marble combines a unique chromaticity with excellent mechanical characteristics: high resistance to compression and bending, very low porosity, and a good level of hardness, making it a material that can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Very resistant to frost, temperature and humidity variations, Botticino Classico can be used for both ornamental and structural elements. It is easy to use, matches well with indoor floors and walls, and offers exceptional durability and resistance to external elements.

Being very easy to polish, it also acquires great brilliance and elegance when finished in this manner.

From New York to Tokyo, from Buenos Aires to Rome and Paris, the Botticino Classico has been used extensively throughout the whole world, lending its qualities to an array of very famous buildings and works.

These include Grand Central Station in Manhattan, a true New York icon, where Botticino Marble covers the grandiose interiors; also the Vittoriano in Rome, better known as the Altar of the Fatherland, an imposing building that has now become one of the symbols of the Eternal City.

With this material, Marmi Ghirardi has created some of the most important projects on the contemporary scene: notably, the external cladding of the Scala theatre in Milan, designed by the architect Mario Botta, an exceptional work that is undoubtedly in line with the most famous and aforementioned Botticino projects worldwide.
Just as Carrara marble is the most important of the whites, so Botticino marble is recognised as the most famous of the beige marbles.
Botticino Classico is one of just a few materials that have the ability to match perfectly with any other type of ornamental stone: it is elegant but also modern, with blacks and greens, and warm with reds and yellows. Polished or smoothed, classic or modern, it is an extremely versatile material. Being very compact and resistant, it is also easy to maintain, thus ensuring durability.

La Scala in Milan.

Superior stone symphony.

La Scala Opera House / Milan

With the design by the architect Mario Botta, La Scala in Milan is destined to become the largest opera house in Europe.
Mario Botta: “I designed the body of the fly tower and the elliptical structure by simplifying the volumes as if they were technical towers, but with their own beneficial representation. I designed them in Botticino stone, which will have and give a surrounding vibration.
La Scala Opera House
Architectural design
Mario Botta

Stone contractor
Team Ghirardi

See you at the next issue of

Not registered yet? Sign up and receive next issues.

It’s easy and quick, it’ll take just a couple of clicks.