Decorative woodwork in which shaped pieces of wood (and sometimes ivory, bone and shell) are inlaid in a wall, floor or piece of furniture. The terms intarsia and marquetry are often confused. Intarsia differs from marquetry because the wood pieces are generally thicker and are inlaid individually, rather than being formed into veneers and glued onto the surface.  Modern intarsia often has a sculpted surface, whereas Renaissance and Baroque intarsia is flat.

stglobe1Francesco di Giorgio Martini (designer); workshop of Giuliano and Benedetto da Maiano.  Intarsia from the Studiolo of Federico da Montefeltro, Gubbio, Italy.  Walnut, beech, rosewood, oak and fruitwoods. 1478-82. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.