late 16th century
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General Description

The construction of the Palace at Fontainebleau under the patronage of King Francis I marked the debut of the the Italian Renaissance Mannerist style in France. The influence of the Italian and French architects and decorators at Fontainebleau on French design was profound and continued into the early seventeenth century. One of the French designers was Jacques Androuet Ducerceau whose design for a chimneypiece, published in 1561, contains three standing male figures which probably inspired those on the upper section of this cupboard. His designs for silver ornamentation, published in 1576, include a grotesque mask flanked by two scrolls which may be the source for this pediment’s central motif. The strapwork, husk, and palmette designs of the front and sides of this interesting cupboard are also in the Mannerist style which the cabinetmaker probably learned from an engraving.

Adapted from

Dallas Museum of Art. The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1985), 155.