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Marriage chest (cassone)

Date:
ca. 1480–95
Culture:
Italian, Florence or Lucca
Medium:
Poplar wood; painted and gilded gesso
Dimensions:
38 1/2 × 80 1/2 × 32 1/2 in. (97.8 × 204.5 × 82.6 cm)
Classification:
Woodwork-Furniture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1916
Accession Number:
16.155
  • Description

    The gesso relief shows a mythological landscape inhabited by satyrs. Ceres, Roman goddess of agriculture, accompanied by the underworld goddess Hecate, enters in a chariot drawn by dragons, searching for Proserpina, the daughter of Ceres. In the early Renaissance, cassoni, or marriage chests, were usually made in pairs and sent by the groom's family to the bride to hold her dowry during the bridal procession. The pendant cassone, formerly in the Palazzo Guinigi in Lucca, illustrated the preceding part of the story, the abduction of Proserpina by Pluto, god of the underworld.

  • Provenance

    probably The Counts Guinigi , Palazzo Guinigi, Lucca ; Count Elia Volpi , Palazzo Davanzati, Florence (until 1916; Count Elia Volpi sale , American Art Association, November 28, 1916); [ American Art Association , 1916; sold to MMA]

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
193335

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