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.
These chairs embody the style of Daniel Marot. The smoothly flowing curled legs, predecessors to the fully developed cabriole leg, are indications of a Marotesque design. The legs are executed in a mannerist style. Auricular ornaments, so called because their sinuous, curved shapes were found to resemble the human ear, were found in English and Dutch chairs produced in the years between 1660 and 1670, 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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