18th Century, Italian Neoclassical half-moon chest of drawers by Ignazio and Luigi Ravelli
Ignazio and Luigi Ravelli
(Italy - Vercelli 1756-1836 / 1776-1858)
This elegant inlaid wooden commode, representative of the Italian neoclassical style, is the result of the joint work of two famous Italian cabinet makers: Ignazio Ravelli (1756-1836) and his son Luigi (1776-1858) active in Vercelli (Piedmont) between the second half of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the following century. Cabinet-making at the time was strongly influenced by the French style of Louis XVI and by the recovery of those values of beauty, simplicity and order typical of classical antiquity. In this climate is placed the work of Ignazio Ravelli, who reworks the work of Maggiolini preferring scenes with imaginative architectural views, whims of ruins, inspired by the engravings of Giambattista Piranesi, Ferdinando Galli Bibbiena and Vincenzo Mazzi.
Luigi Ravelli was born in 1756 in Vercelli and already in 1789 he worked for the Savoy Court, obtaining from 1791 the Royal pension and the consent to exhibit the Royal Coat of Arms in his workshop. He soon reached a high fame and skill and his works were exhibited in the most popular salons in Vienna, Paris and Madrid.
The unmistakable chiaroscuro style of Ravelli is also evident in this half-moon chest of drawers, made with the interior in walnut, paved in walnut and finely inlaid in boxwood, green wood and bois de rose on the pilasters on which the legs are inserted. The inlays are also expertly pyrographed in order to give greater three-dimensionality and precision to the drawings.
The compositional scheme used includes a front small drawer under the floor and then two large drawers with handles and mouthpieces of chiselled and gilded bronze locks. Laterally the cabinet has two doors that conceal compartments divided with shelves. The inlays play with the chromatic effect of the woods, drawing geometric frames of classical taste. The side doors feature inlaid architectural buildings reminiscent of castles and fortresses, characteristic of the work of Ravelli. Unusual in its inlays is the central element between the two drawers: inside a rhomboidal space you can see the head of an African woman placed in profile and the head covered by a turban in fabric. The eye and the earring are in mother-of-pearl.
The small and delightful dresser rests on four truncated legs of inverted cone that give additional lightness and elegance to the whole.
This is a piece of furniture that testifies to a high quality cabinet-making widespread in Piedmont in the neoclassical era adding to the corpus of works assigned to Ravelli to further confirm their well-known ability in the production of fine, refined and elegant artifacts.
Price : on request