The legs have an S-volute shape and are decorated with carved leaf and flower patterns in relief. The knob at the bottom of each of the legs is decorated with a wreath of leaves. The four legs are interconnected with profiled, bent rails, with a rosette incorporating leaf and flower patterns adorning the centre. The armrests are attached to the backrest by connecting pieces decorated with rosettes. The armrests are supported by stiles in the shape of S volutes and are decorated with relief carved leaves and flowers.
This chair embodies the style of Daniel Marot. The smoothly flowing arms and curled legs, predecessors to the fully developed cabriole leg, are indicative of a Marotesque design. The legs and armrests are executed in a mannerist style. Auricular ornaments, so called because their sinuous, curved shapes reminded many of the human ear, are found in English and Dutch chairs produced in the years between 1660 and 1670, subsequently developing into the typical curling decorations we see here.
In the seventeenth century, Holland reached the zenith of its extraordinary wealth. Its international trade empire not only gave the country more material wealth than perhaps any other European nation at the time, it also provided Dutch artists and craftsmen with the opportunity to become acquainted with foreign designs, materials and techniques. It was a period of unprecedented prosperity, and as the country’s affluence grew, the arts freely blossomed.
Gasthuiszusters Augustinessen, Turnhout
Private collection, Belgium
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