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Vivere la campagna

Estofado de oro

Portraying Saints in painting, the retables is the prevailing religious art form in Sardinia during the 16th century. By contrast, wooden sculptures are no doubt the most common representation of Saints in the following century, when figures reached a higher plasticity level. The Estofado de Oro is a special decoration technique where a carved surface is first coated with a layer of pure gold foil and then painted with tempera colours. Subsequently, these latter are removed by means of special tools, in order to trace a drawing and let the underneath gold emerge. The result is a strongly decorative effect and a great ornamental magnificence, simulating precious textile materials with patterns of various kinds, either geometrical or floral. The whole province offers various instances of this style, from San Michele Arcangelo of Collinas, to San Giuseppe col Bambino Gesù e San Giovanni Battista in Sanluri, as well as in the churches of Sardara, Furtei, Pauli Arbarei, Siddi, Tuili, Villanovafranca and Villamar, among other ones.