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Chiselling light

30 June 2022

Light Studio – Milan Italy


Light Studio peculiarities are many. For more than fifty years, the team activity traces a long and unique history in the “world of light“, in particular in the works of art lighting in exhibitions, museums and private sectors. In every design context, the compositional factor in designing the light distinguishes the Studio. The Light Designer’s conceptual thought always favours the totality of every narrative and physical element, whether it be a work of art or the luminous quote of a space. If we consider the constantly applied reasoning to the representation of countless artefacts, Light Studio’s concept of composing light is never just lighting engineering. It is a cohesion of several physical and theoretical factors. It means knowing the history of art and construction materials of all shapes and eras, painting, sculpture, drawing and photography, wood, glass and – last but not least – the highly perishable pigments constantly exposed to a “noxious photonic spectrum”.

With such an articulated and specific experience concerning the lighting of Works of Art, Light Studio produces its line of highly qualified lighting bodies, applied and constantly tested since 1971. Among the products of ANNILUCE by Light Studio, for its technological evolution, stands out the SHILOUETTE, LED profile projector of the latest generation, a true “flagship” in the lighting world. A lighting body, historicized in hundreds of projects and applications, with which Light Studio recently designed the lighting concept at the Palazzo dei Vescovi in Pistoia, and realizing the idea matured for years but never applied in a museum context: the “hand-chiselled” light to illuminate a cycle of frescoes.


Project: San Niccolò Chapel – Ancient Palazzo dei Vescovi – Pistoia, Italy

If the pictorial themes of a fresco, or anyway pictorials, do not sound at least “familiar” it is not easy to understand the narration described in the iconography of the artefact. If the work is fragmented due to a lack of ensemble – as in the frescoes of San Niccolò Chapel – the visitor will only enjoy the overall view from an aesthetic, perceptive or suggestive point of view. Here was born the idea of narrating the fresco using manually “chiselled” light, a peculiarity of Light Studio. Using Silhouette, a shaper designed and produced by ANNILUCE by Light Studio, the light is limited to every volume and surface, accentuating the vision only and exclusively of the illuminated object and making it emerge from the dim light. The fragments of frescoes thus illuminated invite the visitor to concentrate their attention on the narrated theme, in its single portion, “forcing” them to a targeted observation before their gaze turns elsewhere. Being sort of a “luminous tutor”, the system provides a story narrated from fragment to fragment of the fresco, with the help of a domotic system, which includes sound, light, and a narrating voice.

Since 1971, the light designer Giuseppe Mestrangelo, and the Light Studio team have been producing and applying in their projects, or in collaboration with architects and designers, the “hand-chiselled” light, a technique that requires both physical and lighting engineering skills.


Technique and Application

Using the “chiselled” light”, it is possible to precisely circumscribe the artificial luminous flux on any artefact, volume or space that requires its identification or enhancement of an art object, being that a piece of furniture, an architectural or scenic construction. As in most of Light Studio‘s projects, Silhouette is installed inside cavities, architectural envelopes or against ceilings by using a special frame. In the specific, for San Niccolò Chapel, the Light Designers came up with the construction of a housing containing the entire system of lighting bodies and computer system, using the single anchorage in the centre of the frescoed ceiling. To date, this is the only example applied in the museum field.



Exhibition Project: MEDIOEVO a PISTOIA

Crossroad of Artists between Romanesque and Gothic

Permanent Project: “Racconti d’Affresco” and exhibition spaces of the Medieval Museum.

Medieval Museum and San Niccolò Chapel


LIGHT STUDIO Milan – Italy

Light Designer: Iskra & Giuseppe Mestrangelo

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