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French Second Renaissance cupboard
French Second Renaissance cupboard - Furniture Style Renaissance
Ref : 74345
Price on Request
Period :
16th century
Provenance :
France, Burgundy-Lyon
Medium :
Light coloured walnut wood
Dimensions :
l. 51.38 inch X H. 73.62 inch X P. 20.47 inch
Furniture  - French Second Renaissance cupboard
Galerie Gabrielle Laroche

Haute Epoque Fine Art


+33 (0)1 42 97 59 18
+33 (0)6 08 60 05 82
French Second Renaissance cupboard

Origin : France, Burgundy-Lyon
Period : around 1560-1580


Height: 187 cm
Length: 130.5 cm
Depth: 52 cm

Light coloured walnut wood
Fine condition


This two-bodies piece of furniture presents a fine harmony in its proportions. The purity and rigour of its structure reflects the study of antic architecture. The variety of ornaments and the refinement of executions are notworthy.


Lower body

Standing on bun feet and on a moulded base the cupboard is divided by three uprights enriched by cartouches and friezes carvings. The lower body opens with two door leaves inside moulded frames ornated with palm leaves and mitre-cut assembled.

These door leaves receive a rich and refined ornamentation and are horizontally divided in three parts. In the lower part leaf-covered ribbon are twisted in scrolls. In the middle part is carved an interlace design from which emerge two lion heads and two eagle heads. Those heads are centered by a five-petal fower while in each angle is carved another small flower. Finally in the upper part arabesques turn into lion heads on each side of a flower.


Upper body

The belt of the cupboard opens with two drawers enriched by lion heads and foliage arabesques. Three pairs of consoles support the recessed upper body. These consoles present acanthus leaves and drops carvings.

The upper body is framed by two fluted columns with curved shafts. Both columns stand on high bases carved with vine branches and pointed beak birds eating the grapes.The columns are topped with capitals decorated with egg-and-dart motif and with a flower on the abacus.


The uprights are enriched with « pennes d’oiseaux ».

The door leaves frames are identical to those of the lower part. In the centre a festooned miror with two harpies. While their bear women’s head and bust the body is covered in foliage and the wings are those of a bird. The creatures stand on a plinth over a winged angel head. This composition also bears choux bourguignons, leaves and flowers. This carving testifies the great mastery of its artisan.

An elongated-body caryatid is carved on the central upright. Her sheath bears a « pennes d’oiseaux » -decor. She holds back a drapery around her hips with a delicate gesture. On her head she carries a fruits and flowers basket.

The upper body is topped with alternating choux bourguignons and palm leaves on the cornice.


Lateral sides

The decor on the lateral sides is simpler but no less refined with choux bourguignons, acanthus leaves scrolls on cut-out leathers.


French Second Renaissance

This cupboard presents all the characteristics belonging to the French second Renaissance. During this period the study of antic architecture through writers such as Vitruve, Serlio, Philibert Delorme and Jacques Androuet du Cerceau has a profound influence on furniture making.

The ornamental vocabulary -palm leaves, acanthus, scrolls or even eagles- testifies of a movement towards antiquity. With royal projects like Fontainebleau castle, Italian artists are hired and bring new motifs like chimaeras, harpies, masks, fruit and flower garlands, cut-out leathers. Thanks to the development of engraving techniques those motifs appear all over the realm. Books of ornaments accompany wood carvers and image makers in their work.
During the 16th century furniture is no longer considered on a practical point of view but turns into an essential element of decor.

The conjoint influences of Lyon school and Burgundy school are to be found in this cupboard. The Burgundy influence can be seen in the vividness of the carved decor while the architectural perfection, the cartouche style distributed around a central element, the motifs borrowed from printing art show the Lyon influence.

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