No other word in the marquetry lexicon causes more confusion than that of "intarsia" and in some parts of the world it is a misnomer. Although the two share common characteristics they are dissimilar. The root of the problem is attribution. Intarsia created during the Renaissance is not the same as that made today in so far as surface treatment is concerned. Today, intarsia has a sculptured surface where quattrocento intarsia is flat. And marquetry is synonymous in this respect. In fact, to further blur its meaning marquetry is still called intarsia from Italy and Poland to Denmark because there is no distinction between marquetry and inlay work (intarsia) while in France, for example, marqueterie describes both techniques.
To understand older intarsia is to know that from a technical point it is inlayed into a solid substrate while marquetry is layed upon the surface. It was not until the 17th-Century that true marquetry came into being with the advent of sawn veneers. The photo below illustrates how this was done in a self portrait by Antonio Barili in 1502. A shoulder-knife is used alongside a chisel. The original in Vienna was destroyed during World War II.
The intarsiatori was often a woodcarver who expanded his repertoire by doing intarsia as both required the same tools and skills. An added benefit was those who were learned in the architectural arts to take advantage of executing work in perspective.
In the modern era intarsia is made using solid wood whereas marquetry uses veneer. In most instances the intarsia is not inlayed anymore. It is merely glued to a wood backing as an appliqué after it has been sculptured thus creating a 3D effect.
In this case, the main figure is inlayed while the angels and name plate are glued to the surface. The Madonna and Child vary in thickness from 1/4" - 1/2". Overall it measures 15" × 21" inches - nearly identical to the original. The name plate says 'Ave Maria'.
It is a curious matter that most people do not know the difference between intarsia and marquetry let alone what the two words mean. Once a year, where I live, there is a juried competition of crafts which draws thousands of spectators. They are exposed to this ignorance by grouping marquetry and intarsia into the same class. After hearing of this injustice, I approached the judges with the intent of educating them. As a result there are now 2 distinct classes. I do not believe this was an isolated case. I can only hope others will take a proactive lead wherever possible.