Household Furniture1) may be considered as either movable or immovable. In ancient times the character of transportable furniture was often indicated by forming the feet like a lion's paw or that of some other animal. This motive was even employed in marble tables, although their size together with their great weight, lends them the appearance of decorative stone sculptures rather than furniture (fig. 23). Although but few pieces of wood-work made of wood have come to us from Greek antiquity, it is certain that the Greeks were perfect in craftsmanship. Vase ornamentation shows us that already in the sixth century B. C. household turned furniture was in use. In the following saeculum veneering, intar-sia and sculptured decorations were employed on coffins and we can imagine that such were also used to ornament household utensils.
Hellenism refined all domains of craftsmanship, and the luxury everywhere
*) Bibliography: Wilhelm von Bode, Italian Household Furniture of the Renaissance (2. edition, Leipzig, 1920) a work which could be cited on each of the following pages. Of importance also is: Arts and Crafts at the time of the Renaissance by G. Swarzenski and W. Behnke in Lehnert's Illustrated History of Arts and Crafts, Vol. I, pp. 423 and sequ.; Lessing, Designs (Vor-bilderhefte) from the Royal Museum of Arts and Crafts (Berlin 1899-1905) numberl2 (Chests), 14 (Furniture of the XVIth century) and 15 (Doors) ; A. G. Meyer, (Illustrations) for the history of the forms of furniture (Leipzig 1902, and sequ). George Leland Hunter: Italian
Furniture and Interiors, London and New York, treating chiefly of furniture owned by Americans and English in their respective countries, and in Florentine villas; Molinier: Histoire générale des Arts appliqués a l'Industrie (Paris 1896—1900) Vol. II which deals principally with church furniture, (parts are now out of print). G. Ferrari : II Legno nellf Arte Italiana, likewise about church furniture and ceilings and panelling. On the Culture of the Home in the single villages : Molmenti : La Storia di Venezia nella Vita privata. Vol. II. Bergamo 1906. G. Ludwig: Venetian Furniture at the time of the Renaissance, Italian Researches I (Berlin 1906), Malaguzzi-Valeri : La Corte di Ludovico il Moro, Vol. I, (Milan 1913) and others.
The most important collections of Italian furniture are to be found in the Schloss-Museum, (Museum for Arts and Crafts, in the old imperial castle) in Berlin; in the Landes-Museum in Darmstadt, in the museums for arts and crafts in Leipzig
9. Kitchen in House of Patrician after 1600. Engraving and Frankfort on the Maine, Hamburg and Vienna, in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Museo Civico, Turin, and the Castello Sforza, Milan. In the Palazzo di Venezia in Rome, a collection of furniture is now being formed. Besides, numerous other collections contain interesting pieces of furniture placed between pictures and statues, as e. g. in the Kaiser Friedrich-Museum in Berlin, the Museo Nazionale in Florence, Museo Poldi-Pezzoli in Milan, Musee Andre-Jacque-mart in Paris, Liebig House in Frankfort on the Maine, and other cities and towns. Of all the private collections, Dr. Fig-dor's in Vienna ranks first. Besides this the following should be mentioned: Dr. E.Simon's in Berlin, those of Prof. Dr. Lanz in Amsterdam, Stefano Bard in i in Florence, Elia Volpi in the Palazzo Davanzati, Luigi Grassi and lastly that of Hubert Home, recently bequeathed to the State, and others to be found in some of the villages in the environs. Milan possesses the large collections of the brothers Bagatti-Valsecchi, that of Dr. v. Beckerath in Berlin was sold by auction in 1915. On the occasion of the jubilee at Rome in 1911, several rooms tastefully decorated with High Renaissance furniture were on view at the Mostre Retrospettive (retrospective show) at the Castel Saint Angelo. (Illustrated in "L'Arte" XlVth 1911, pp. 447 and 459.) Besides these, a large number of good single pieces, and many made up of different parts, as also copies of ancient furniture, are to be found in divers public and private collections in Europe and the United States.
prevailing under the Roman emperors found its expression in the culture of the home. But the Italians of the Renaissance, who found immediate inspiration in antique architecture and sculpture possibly never saw even a single piece of wood furniture: at most only such made of stone or metal. They were, to a large extent, dependent on the types of the late middle ages, in which, it is true, some single pieces showed the influence of the antique. Their habits of life more nearly approached those of the immediate past than those of a thousand years earlier, and in this respect a creative development of ^ the renaissance style was necessary*) which from the point of view of art deserves no less appreciation than the construction of churches and palaces.
The culture of the home during the Gothic period of art was, on the other side of the Alps, more highly developed than in Italy, a fact which is sufficiently explained by the political conditions prevailing in the Apennine peninsula, and the habits and customs of the southerners, as already mentioned. Still Gothic furniture only arrived at perfection in the fifteenth century, at a time when, in Italy, the renaissance had reached its culmination, and northern influence is unmistakable till after 1500, in Liguria2) Piedmont, Lombardy, and Venetia. There was an interchange between both sides of the Alps3). It even accorded with the artistic taste of the city of lagoons to combine Germanic motives with those of the orient and central Italy to a charming effect on one and the same piece of furniture (fig. 78). In northern Italy no new completely pure style could be created. The cradle of home culture was Tuscany, which not alone invested architecture, painting and sculpture with new forms, but also furniture. From the Arno the new style found its way both to the north
and to the south. The first centres of furniture-making were Florence and Siena; from there it found its way~ to Rome and Venice, finally Milan, Genoa and Bologna gained importance in this respect. But the roving habits of the artist-designers and their collaboration with native wood-carvers and cabinet-makers as also with foreign intarsia artists, often make the local peculiarities imperceptible. The contrasts between the early and later works of this period are more easily distinguishable.
The culture of the home received important stimulus from the churches and their ^ decorations, this influence, however, being of a still higher degree in the middle ages. It was not so much the altar ornaments as the choir stalls, the sacristy fur-^/ niture, and that of the adjoining rooms, which offered valuable examples (fig. 195). Then the fluctuation became a mutual one. Famous artists designed decorative objects for the Church and private houses, and notable wood-carvers and intarsia-makers ornamented both; household and church furniture are often so much alike in form and decoration that it is hardly possible to find out which purpose the single pieces were originally intended to serve l). Moreover many fine examples came from the nunneries and monasteries which formed the^J connecting link between sacred and profane architecture, (figs. 201, 202 and 212.) And it is exactly these buildings which are often so richly decorated or the furniture of so pure a form that tell us only notable artists could have conceived them. With regard to " this point we are best informed concerning the Badia, at the foot of the Fiesolan hills, which Cosimo Medici had restored2). Francesco Sforza also took special interest in the magnificent decoration of the Certosa, near Pavia, and the
*) Only classic forms of marble tables were directly copied in stone and wood.
s) Numerous examples exist in the Museo Civico, Turin. a) Vide: Robert Schmidt: Möbel (Bibliothek für Kunst und Antiquitätensammler Vol. 5), 3d Edition, p. 70 and sequ.
') This is equally true of benches and cupboards.
2) The intarsia door (fig. 515) came from this abbey. For the architecture and decoration of this religious house the following works should be consulted: C. v. Stegmann and H. v. Geymuller, cited above, Vol. I, Brunnelleschi pp. 49—58 and G. v. Fabriczy, Filippo Brunelleschi p. 594; and Jahrbuch der preuss. Kunstsammlungen, XXIVth Supplementary number p. 137, (Giuliano da Maiano).
11. Andrea della Robbia (?): Relief in Coloured Glazed Terra Cotta
Formerly A. v. Beckerath's Collection, Berlin apartment of the abbess in the Parma nunnery must have been a charming work of art when below Cor-reggio's frescoes the delicately carved furniture, part of which is now in the Parma Museum, was in its destined place (fig. 547).
There were, and are even to-day, far fewer pieces of furniture in the rooms of the Italians than in those of a like size on the other side of the Alps. This stately spaciousness appears to us almost emptiness, and more especially the ceremonial apartments, which were furnished with carpets, cushions and hangings only on festival occasions, vmust have seemed cold and bare at ordinary times. We gather from pictures that already in the middle ages stuffs played a great role in the interior decorations. Often costly oriental or Italian woven materials may have been used to cover roughly put together pieces of furniture, for only during the renaissance did they receive that perfection of form which allowed of their being exposed to the scrutiny of all comers.
In the sleeping apartments the ample bed often occupied the most prominent place. In reception and living-rooms the centre was sometimes emphasied by a table V which not infrequently was of monumental form. Chests, benches and sideboards were placed along the walls, especially the first mentioned, which, as late as the XVIth century were predominate everywhere1), lending to the whole of the wooden furniture the appearance of being a determinate part of the architecture, forming a kind of; base to the wall. It was no mere chance, but from what has been said, it rather seems natural that the Gothic. cupboards with long slender columns never found way in Italy (figs. 235—6); just as coffers with a high substructure open in front are only of exceptional occurrence, and then only near the Alps (fig. 98). Neither did these substructures, or chests supported only by slender pillars, conform to the taste of the southerner. ^The big sideboard and most of the coffers were planted terra firma on the ground. Only the smaller cupboards and the chests were provided with low feet, and in the high renaissance frequently finished off with an ornamental carved and painted stretcher to hide the otherwise empty space, (fig. 138).
The predilection for such a primitive object of furni ture as the coffer, which yet allowed of so manifold a use, was traditional since the middle ages and primitive forms as self-understood and purposeful as were the simplest form of architecture for tables and bedsteads, cupboards and chairs. But it was just this almost as- „ cetic plainness which constituted the postulate for its development!). For here no traditional form of expression derived from a different feeling for style stood in the way, when motives of monumental architecture were taken over and changed in accordance with the new task and material. Moreover the custom of a plain but ^ solid performance was a preservative against the danger of a too rapid growth of rich or even overdone forms and flamboyant ornamentation, before the single types of furniture had developed into a shape best suitable to their respective purposes.
11. Andrea della Robbia (?): Relief in Coloured Glazed Terra Cotta
Formerly A. v. Beckerath's Collection, Berlin
') In inventories they are far more numerous than all other pieces of furniture, Vide Bode, p. 29 and sequ, figs. 4, 5 and 35.
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