Daniela Banci, Illustrious City
Necklace, 2023, sterling silver, 750 white gold, white agate, l 81 cm
The necklace is made up of long rectangular engraved silver elements, and linear and curved geometric shapes in white agate.
It is a tribute to the city of Urbino which,' although amid mountains, and less pleasing ones than perhaps some others that we see in many places, it has yet enjoyed such favour of heaven that the country round about is very fertile and rich in crops'. This is how Baldassarre Castiglione described the small city in The Book of the Courtier, mentioning Duke Federico as 'the light of Italy' among the 'best of lords' that governed it, the man that turned it into a magnificent princely court renowned in Europe.
Daniela Banci, Late Have I Loved Thee, Seals So Ancient and So New
Seals, 2023, sterling silver, Ø 9 cm, Ø 11.5 cm, Ø 9 cm
The seals are laser engraved on circular frosted silver plates.
The seal dedicated to the cosmic alphabet contains a series of letters alluding to the astronomical origin of writing; the circle symbolises the astronomical sky, and the letters are the morphological representation of the constellations.
The seal dedicated to Pietro d'Abano, a Paduan doctor and philosopher portrayed in the Studiolo, draws its inspiration from pentacles, or magic circles, of the late Middle Ages. An inscription on the base of the portrait remembers his merits as a doctor, as well as his interest in arcane disciplines, 'Petro Apono [medicorum arbitro aequiss. ob remotiorum disciplinarum studium insigne Fed. poni cur.] (To Pietro d'Abano, very just arbiter of doctors, for his distinguished study of the most recondite disciplines, Federico had built).
The seal dedicated to cardinal Bessarion portrays the main exponent of the reconciliation of the Latin and Greek churches at the Council of Ferrara - Florence (1438 -1439) and, together with Pope Pius II, the supporter of a crusade to reconquer Constatinople captured by the Turks in 1453.
The image of the cardinal overlaps Federico da Montefeltro's: the two men were close friends, as the inscription on the base of Bessarion's portrait reminds us. In the Studiolo portrait Bessarion is defined as 'amico sapientiss[imo] optimoque' (our best and most learned man).