A fine French Renaissance carved walnut meuble à deux corps Burgundo-Lyonnais second half 16th century
The doors carved in relief with panels representing the four seasons. height 72 1/2in (184cm); width 54in (137cm); depth 24 1/4in (61.5cm)
The present cabinet is an exceptional example of a meuble à deux corps in the Burgundo-Lyonnais style, wherein elements of the Fontainebleau School and Flanders were united with Italian aspects to create a unique vocabulary. Celebrated artists and architectural designers Hugues Sambin and Jacques Androuet du Cerceau were often quoted in these animated pieces of furniture that combined architecture, relief carving as well as elements of genre painting as in the present relief panels, such as the figure of the iron worker in the forge on the lower right.
This was the influence of Flanders, and here the carved relief panels show a knowledge of the Netherlandish engravings of Hendrik Goltzius (1558-1617). In the upper left panel with Cupid, the female figure is indebted to Goltzius' engraving of Water in his series on the elements. The lower left panel with the figure holding aloft a wine cup is taken from Goltzius' figure of Autumn in his Four Seasons engravings. The present piece is close in style to a cabinet with similar construction and carved relief panels of the Four Elements based on Goltzius in the Collection Perpitch, which also shows variances from the engravings (Boccador, fig. 198). Other similarly noteworthy 16th century cabinets sharing elements of the Burgundo-Lyonnais style can be seen in the Museums of Autun, Besançon, Philadelphia and Dijon.
Literature: Pierre Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Français du Moyen Age à Louis XV, 1978, Paris, figs. 21, 22, 23; pages 28, 29, 30. Jacqueline Boccador, Le Mobilier Francais du Moyen Age à la Renaissance, 1988, figs. 171, 172.
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