Alab’Arte in Volterra: alabaster and poetry
In the Alab’Arte workshop in Volterra, Tuscany, skilled craftsmen work one of poets’ favorite stones.
In the “Song of Songs” – ascribed to the poet-king Solomon – the woman describes the legs of his beloved as
pillars of alabaster, resting on golden pedestals.
In Canto XV of his “Paradise”, Dante says the luminous trail left by a moving star – the soul of his ancestor, Cacciaguida – is
Like flame in alabaster.
Ludovico Ariosto, in his “Sonnet XXV”, praises his love interest’s
pure alabaster neck and breast.
In his “The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc”, French writer Charles Péguy describes the moment when Mary of Bethany met Jesus and the gracious gesture she had for him:
Happy is she who poured on his feet the ointment of the amphora, she who poured on his head the ointment of the alabaster box […] on his feet, on his very feet, on his body of flesh, on his very head, on the head of his body.
Roberto Chiti and Giorgio Finazzi are poets and craftsmen, and have been fascinated with alabaster for years. In their workshop they restore artifacts, make original pieces, and are proud to reveal the secrets of their art to those who want to know them.