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oak tree large

Oak Tree, 2020

Palladium on 22 karat gold leaf

12 x 12 inches

Signed and dated under the image on recto

oak tree medium

Oak Tree, 2020

Palladium on 22 karat gold leaf

5 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches

Signed and dated on recto

oak tree

Lucretia Moroni (b. 1960, Milan)
In memory of Letizia (oak tree), 2013
Palladium print on 22-karat gold leaf
Image 2 3/4 x 2 7/8 in. (7 x 7.3 cm)
Paper 4 1/4 x 5 7/8 in. (10.8 x 15 cm)
Signed, titled, and dated on verso
Signed and dated on recto

olive tree

Lucretia Moroni (b. 1960, Milan)
Ulivo Toscano, 2016
Palladium and albumen print on 22-karat gold leaf
4 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. (11.4 x 11.4 cm)
Signed, titled, and dated on verso

bambina

Bambina, 2019

Palladium on 22 karat gold leaf

5.5 x 5.5 inches

brazilian tree

Lucretia Moroni (b. 1960, Milan)
Brazilian tree, 2016
Palladium and albumen print on 22-karat gold leaf
Image 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (14 x 14 cm)
Paper 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 in. (19.1 x 19.1 cm)
Signed, titled, and dated on verso
Signed and dated on recto

oak tree

Lucretia Moroni (b. 1960, Milan)
In memory of Letizia (oak tree), 2014-18
Palladium print on palladium leaf
Image 5 1/4 x 5 in. (13.3 x 12.7 cm) 
Paper 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 in. (19.1 x 19.1 cm)

olive tree

Lucretia Moroni (b. 1960, Milan)
Ulivo Toscano, 2016-18
Palladium print on palladium leaf
Image 4 3/4 x 4 3/4 in. (12.1 x 12.1 cm)
Paper 7 1/2 x 7 1/2 in. (19.1 x 19.1 cm)

magnolia

Magnlia, 2020

Palladium leaf on 22 karat gold leaf

5.5 x 5.5 inches

"Gold is a color that is impossible to reproduce, and a symbol of the unattainable, and therefore the Divine. This is one of the main reasons I choose to work with gold leaf as a ground in my alternative process photography.

"I have also been attracted to gold due to its role in art throughout history and among different civilizations around the world, dating back to ancient times. The ancient Egyptians were the first to use gold leaf, most notably in their sarcophagi; and for the ancient Greeks, too, gold represented the Divine. In pre-Columbian tombs we can find gold masks on the buried kings, and gold was used for the capital letters in illuminated manuscripts dating back to 400 AD.

"In Italy, gold leaf dates back to the Byzantine mosaics — such as those in Ravenna, which I saw often during my childhood — where gold is used as a background to represent the sky, as well as throughout Byzantine religious iconography. In medieval painting, gold is used on wood panels as a symbol of connection to God. Eastern art, too, has influenced my prints, largely in the choice of subjects and in composition. 

"I work exclusively with 22-karat Manetti gold leaf, which has been produced in Florence for over 150 years. The technical aspect of working with gold leaf is very important to me, as the craftsmanship required marries my photographic art to the other decorative arts that I have practiced throughout my career. In a way, the unique beauty and spiritual charge of gold brings all these skills and experiences back to life."  — Lucretia Moroni

Moroni’s alternative process prints are the result of a singular technique she has invented for printing platinum and palladium, among other alternative process chemicals, directly onto metallic leaf. Moroni carefully prepares watercolor paper with a special Gesso solution, sanding between coats in order to achieve as smooth a surface as possible. Next, she applies platinum, palladium, or gold leaf, followed by a layer of gelatin. Lastly, she applies the palladium or platinum solution, whose sensitivity to light is used to create a contact print from her negative. This ambitious and exacting process often requires repeated exposures and applications of platinum and palladium to achieve the desired result.

In June 2020, Moroni delivered a virtual artist's talk with the Halide Project in which she discussed her alternative printing process with metallic link. The video can be viewed at this link

Biography

Born in Milan in 1960, Lucretia Moroni has worked as an artist, photographer, and designer in a wide variety of media for over forty years. In the early 1980s, Moroni studied decorative painting with a specialization in fresco painting, murals, and pattern design at the renowned Van der Kelen School in Brussels, and continued her training in interiors with the Oscar-nominated designer and architect Renzo Mongiardino in Milan and New York. 

Since the late 1980s, Moroni has worked on a vast range of private and public projects worldwide, including residences in Italy, South America, and the United States. Notable commissions include her work with Franco Zeffirelli for the sets of La Traviata, and her twenty-four custom-color trompe l’oeil murals in the Bethesda Fountain Arcade in New York’s Central Park. Her work has been featured prominently in design and general magazines and publications worldwide, including The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Vogue Italia, and Architectural Digest. In her studio, Fatto a Mano, Moroni revives and adapts traditional and natural materials and techniques — including linen, silk, velvet, gauze, silk-screening, hand-printing, stenciling, and faux-finishing — to achieve a level of unparalleled artistry and contemporary craftsmanship in all aspects of her work.

Throughout her career, Moroni has used photographic processes and has explored the use of new grounds for painting and printmaking, particularly in the production of silkscreens and in the invention of new techniques to print on hardwood floors, glass, and verre eglomise. Since the early 2010s, she has devoted her time to photo-based art, specializing in alternative-process printmaking with precious metals such as gold, platinum, and palladium. Moroni has pioneered new techniques for printing gold, palladium, and platinum directly on gold and palladium leaf, a delicate and painstaking process that produces unique, luminescent, richly textured images reminiscent of both Italian Renaissance miniatures and Eastern Orthodox icon paintings and deeply rooted in the artist’s own personal history.

Moroni’s work has been shown in solo shows and group exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe since the 1990s. She is represented by L’Affiche Gallery in Milan and by Nailya Alexander Gallery in New York. She is based in New York and Italy.

Moroni also runs the Foundation Museum of the Palazzo Moroni in Bergamo, Italy, which was commissioned and built in the 17th century by Francesco Moroni. The Foundation houses several works by the great late Renaissance painter Giovanni Battista Moroni (1520-1579), and is a testament to both the historic heritage of the Moroni family as well as the artistic and cultural life of Bergamo.