Jannella, Ottaviano, Italian, 1635 - 1661, Monumentino: Sculpture, Tools and Eyeglasses of Ottoviano Jannella, c. 1654 - 1660; Bernardino Consorti, Italian, c. 1785 - 1859, Portrait of Janella, 1819.

Ottaviano Jannella (Italian, 1635–1661), Monumentino: Sculpture, Tools and Eyeglasses of Ottaviano Jannella, around 1654–1660; Bernardino Consorti (Italian, around 1785–1859), Portrait of Jannella, 1819, boxwood, metal, glass and engraving on paper, 16.4 x 33.9 x 13.4 cm (overall dimensions of box). The Thomson Collection of European Art © Art Gallery of Ontario.

Idea Lab: Research at the AGO Investigating Miniature Ivory and Boxwood Carvings

July 19, 2012 – February 7, 2015


This exhibition invites you to explore ongoing research into five works of art from the Thomson Collection European Art at the AGO. Although each one is more than 500 years old, much remains to be discovered about these rare medieval carvings. Prized for their exceptional skill, craftsmanship and artistry, these mysterious objects inspire a range of questions: Who made it? How was it carved? Who owned it? How was it used?

Constantly seeking answers, AGO curators and conservators closely examine the works, comb through primary documents and travel internationally to scrutinize related objects and research materials. They also deploy scientific technologies, such as X-radiography (X-rays), micro-computed tomography (CT scanning) and radiocarbon dating. New and in-depth research findings lead to a deeper understanding of these works and, consequently, the history of human creativity.

Miniature Boxwood Carving: AGO staff unlock a 500-year mystery.


Research in Action at the AGO: One Work, Two Carvers?

Learn more about the project in this CODART piece by Alexandra Suda and Lisa Ellis

This exhibition is included with general admission.

Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario

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