This Italian watercolor shop is inspired by the history of art
Located in Assisi, Umbria, A Gallo is a boutique selling watercolors and art supplies, whose interiors have been redesigned by Milan and London-based studio Duelle to reference the history of Italy. art.
Melanie Liaw and Micaela Nadella of Milan and London-based design studio Duelle created the interiors of A Gallo, a watercolor shop in Assisi, Umbria, specializing in natural pigments and art supplies, including paints, brushes and sketchbooks.
The store was founded by artist Alina Gallo, who came up with the idea of making her own paint following her studies of hand-drawn painting techniques and her interest in the history of pigments. After studying Timurid, Byzantine, Safavid, and Ottoman miniature painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Gallo moved to Assisi to continue his research and practice. Together with her husband, she developed the brand with the aim of connecting artists with pigments linked to the origins of artistic materials. A long process of experimentation resulted in a formula that produces environmentally friendly pigments that match historical shades such as vermilion, carmine and verderame.
When designing the space, the duo behind Duelle focused on color: “The interior had its own historic palette, from the reddish-brown wooden storefront to the traditional cream and burgundy cement tile floor,” they explain. To complement the original tones, they added a soft lavender color to the walls (from the Italian brand Kerakoll), in reference to the lavender fields of Umbria.
To honor the work behind A Gallo, Liaw and Nardella researched traditional paint supply stores throughout Italian culture and their design. “These spaces, often with long stories, are densely filled with artists’ materials displayed on simple wooden joinery,” the two explain. “We loved this concept of ‘the art shop of the past’, working with a single manufacturer to handcraft all shop fittings, emphasizing the strong connections of oak in crisp, clean lines. . »
The design features a gallery-like display for watercolours, understated wooden shelves that allow raw pigments to take control of the space. “There’s something quite magical about the range of colors in their natural powder form, before they were transformed by Alina Gallo and her team into artist’s materials as we know them,” they add. .
“Additional elements are deliberately natural, the color coming from the materials themselves; the honey tones of European oak, the warm white of ceramic pendants by Italian artist Enrico Donadello and glazed lava stone by local manufacturer Domiziani,” they add. “The gallery vibe we envisioned became the perfect backdrop for the richly colored product line – from half-pan watercolor paints to mouth-blown pots featuring raw pigments to vibrant marbled papers.” §