PAIR OF CHESTS
Sculpted wood with polychrome decoration.
This pair of chests comes from Villa Pianetti di Sant’Ubaldo, at Monsano near Jesi, in the Marche region, where they stood in the space between the columns in the hall on the ground floor, a position they had been made to measure for, and in which they are immortalized in a publication from fifty years ago (in Una villa marchigiana: Sant’Ubaldo, in “Antichità viva”, III, 5, 1964, figg. 8-9, pp. 64-65; the work is also published in V. Mannelli, Il mobile regionale italiano, Firenze, 1964, n. 136, fig. 139 and M. Trionfi Honorati, Il mobile marchigiano, Milano, 1971).
The chests are characterized by a decoration which is still late Baroque in style, but which is at the same time characterized by a rigour and restraint that anticipates Neoclassicism. The moulded backrest, decorated by leaf motifs and volutes, is dominated by a central painted oval with the allegorical representations of Painting – a youth with brush and palette – and Architecture – a girl holding a pair of compasses – which appear to be resting on a shelf. Delicate trompe-l’oeil effects may also be appreciated in the festoons, also these on the backrest, and in the soberly painted scrolls which subtly animate the surfaces.
Marche, mid-18th century