Armchair, Rome 17th century

Rome 17th century


Large high chair supported by four legs joined together by carved folders; two wavy armrests act as support for the arms. Both the folders and the armrests are carved in curls with leaves and festoons of bluebells; the feet are wrapped in leaves, resting on a small plinth. The surface is completely golden.

Dimensions: 155 x 78 x 78 cm ( 61 x 30 x 30 in )


Historical-critical analysis:

The models of the Roman Baroque are evidently the inspiration for the design and carving of this high chair from the late 1600s. It can be said that the invention of the Baroque or at least a large part of its translation into the decorative arts is Roman if not really Berninian. However, there are many sculptors who, in the seventeenth century, moved from all over Italy to go and see and learn what is happening in terms of sculpture in the Eternal City; the Genoese Parodi completed his youth training in the Roman workshops, as did the Venetian Brustolon and Andrea Fantoni from Bergamo.

In our opinion, the area remains the Roman one, the carving built with large opposing C’s to form architectural elements to which acanthus leaves are twisted, such as carved bluebells, are a characteristic expression of this taste and time.

A very similar large Chair, without armrests, is published in a volume by Enrico Rava dedicated to seating. The volume is a bit dated but it is interesting to understand the complexity of the topic to report a faithful summary, “..Superb exemplary” from pomp “…. incongruously indicated, in the Catalog of a nearby Antiques Exhibition, as a Tuscan work of the sixteenth century. … .. was later believed to be Genoese, from the first half of the seventeenth century. In reality, the specimen – which could be Roman (quite similar furniture is in the galleries of Palazzo Colonna), but must still be considered as belonging to Central Italy – can be dated to around 1670-80. โ€ฆ (Milan Colonnello Collection) “.


โ€“ Carlo Enrico Rava, La sedia, ed. Gorlich Milan 1964

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