Armorial Mantelpiece

French


Armorial Mantelpiece, n.d.

  • On View

Stone with traces of original polychrome

Dimensions: 91 × 105 in. (231.1 × 266.7 cm)

Gift of Viola E. Bray, 2005.159

As a source of both heat and light, fireplaces were the focal point of Renaissance rooms. Showing a trace of its original polychrome painting, this mantelpiece might have been the chief decorative feature of the room for which it was originally created. With its elaborately carved details of rinceaux (ornamental foliage), cupids, and engaged Greek capitals, this imposing work was meant to be noticed by visitors. Moving clockwise from the top right, the central coat of arms includes the house of Visconti in Milan, the house of Bourbon in France, the Grimaldi of Venice, and the Navarra of Spain.

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