Signature finish - Stucco Mantovano
Mantovano finish, as a technique, has a very interesting past.
Stucco Mantovano finish dates back to the late years 1100, when Architect Alberto Pitentino modified the flow of the river Mincio to create four artifical lakes around Mantova, to gain more space to extend the city and for defensive reasons both.
At the time to wander outside the city was a dangerous thing to do and people would look for raw materials as close to their city walls as possible. Well, unlike the limestones used by the people of Venice, who would avoid touching the dangerous mainland and would thus pick up the stones by boat from the delta of the Brenta river closeby, the inhabitants of Mantova would pick the limestones from the waters of the Mincio river and the lakes around the city. The Mantova limestones though would give a kind of lime finish much more fluid than the Brenta limestones.The resulting finish had therefore to be applied by brush and trowel.
Such finish knew top popularity during the Reanissance, when the Gonzaga family (who seized power from the Bonacolsi family in 1328 and ruled the city for three centuries) used to be one of the most important European courts, hosting artists like Pisanello, Mantegna, Perugino, Correggio, LB Alberti, Giulio Romano, Rubens and many more. In that period the architecture of the city was deeply changed and many of Mantova's famous palaces were built, with the participation also of the noble families of the time.
The Mantovano Stucco finish and technique lost popularity in the following centuries with the decline of the city and disappeared.
Our manufacturer could not let a such unique traditional finish disappear. After a few years of research in the libraries of Mantova they managed to figure out the original application technique and important clues on the finish formulation. After some more lab-work they managed to bring back to life the Mantovano Stucco, the one we are proposing today. We are curently only company in Michigan who can offer traditional Stucco Mantovano finish to you.
Inside our Mantovano you can have a small piece of Italian history, following hand-in-hand the rise and fall of a city which in time has been one of the wealthiest and more powerful cities of Italian history.