views updated May 29 2018

scagliola. Imitation marble, known since Antiquity, and much used in C17 and C18 for column-and pilaster-shafts, etc. It is made of crushed gypsum (or selenite), calcined, then reduced to powder or plaster of Paris, mixed with isinglass (gelatine) or similar (Flanders glue or size was commonly used), and then having colours added. Veined marbles were imitated by mixing the different hues in separately. The prepared mix was applied to the intended surface (usually a coat of lime and hair), smoothed, then rubbed down with a pumice-stone and a wet sponge before being polished with tripoli (diotomite) and charcoal using fine soft linen, then rubbed with felt dipped in linseed oil and tripoli, then finally finished off with a rubbing of pure linseed oil. It was also called stucco lustro. It should not be confused with Florentine mosaic or opere di commasso made with thin veneers of marble.


Nicholson (1835);
W. Papworth (1887)