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A study of the studiolo

In the late 1400s, Federico da Montefeltro commissioned two small rooms for his residences at Urbino and Gubbio. The walls of each room (studiolo) were decorated with wood inlay (intarsia) to create an intricate display of learning and prowess. The Urbino Studiolo in Italy still exists in-situ but the Gubbio Studiolo was re-installed in its own room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 1996.  Having visited both of the studioli several times, the artist Patrick Hughes has reimagined them in a work especially created for the British Academy. This exciting new piece brings to life the studioli with an optical illusion that stuns and delights visitors to the British Academy. In conversation with the art historian Dawn Adés FBA, Patrick Hughes discusses the inspiration for his picture and his innovative use of three-dimensional reverse perspective.

Professor Martin Kemp FBA, a member of the Academy’s Pictures Committee, discusses the artist and the work in an article published in the British Academy Review. The whole article can be downloaded as a PDF file. Published in British Academy Review, Issue 25 (February 2015).

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