Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Armchair

Date:
late 15th or 16th century (textiles); 16th century, second half (woodwork)
Culture:
Iberian or Flemish (woodwork); Italian (or Spanish?) (textiles)
Medium:
Walnut, carved and turned; dark red silk and satin cut velvet; gilt metal tape with fringe gilt-metal thread.
Dimensions:
H. 106.4 cm, W. 61.6 cm, D. 56 cm Back 47.5 x 70.4 cm; Seat 64 x 89 cm (including fringe)
Classifications:
Woodwork-Furniture, Textiles-Velvets
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.1996
Not on view
Chairs like this were produced in quantities, and the type makes identifying a location difficult. Similar armchairs were found in the homes of burghers and the aristocracy alike. In fact, a portrait of Philip II of Spain by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz (1553 – 1608) depicts the king standing next to a related work in the Escorial Palace.(1) The form was popular throughout Italy and Spain and — like paintings of saints and small altarpieces — even exported in large numbers from Antwerp and other cultural centers in the Lowlands to Spain, especially Seville, and subsequently the Americas. This phenomenon is not heavily researched, but is known through documents and especially through the registers of merchants who dominated this prosperous and influential trade.(2)

Catalogue entry from: Wolfram Koeppe. The Robert Lehman Collection. Decorative Arts, Vol. XV. Wolfram Koeppe, et al. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in association with Princeton University Press, 2012, pp. 240-41.

NOTES:

1. Szondy, Veronika von. Spanische Möbel. Munich, 1974. [Originally published in Italian as L’arredamento spagnolo. With text by Domingo Sanchez-Mesa Martin. Milan, 1966.], fig. 10 (a similar type is shown in fig. 37). See also 1975.1.1993; Fayet, Monique de. Meubles et ensembles: Renaissance espagnole. Paris, 1961, p. 28, fig. 35.

2. North, Michael, and David Ormrod. Eds. Art Markets in Europe, 1400 – 1800. Aldershot, 1998; Gontar, Cybele Trione. “The Campeche Chair in The Metropolitan Museum of Art.” Metropolitan Museum Journal 38, 2003, pp. 183 – 212.
Robert Lehman, New York
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