Definition of pietra dura in English:

pietra dura


mass noun
  • Pictorial mosaic work using semi-precious stones, typically for table tops and other furniture.

    ‘panels of pietra dura’
    as modifier ‘a Florentine pietra dura top’
    • ‘Dating back thousands of years, Chinese gem art has evolved into one of the world's most highly regarded pietra dura art forms.’
    • ‘A perfect case in point was the fabulous Florentine pietra dura table top offered by Christie's on 9 June.’
    • ‘A expert craftsman can use it not only to imitate pietra dura but also to achieve almost painterly effects.’
    • ‘The other way in which hardstones were used to great effect in Prague was in the production of pietra dura pictures and cabinets.’
    • ‘Always eager to experiment, he also perfected pietra dura mosaic.’


Early 19th century: from Italian (plural pietre dure), literally ‘hard stone’.


pietra dura

/ˌpjɛtrə ˈduːrə/