Venetian scriban, 18th century

Polychrome wood Venetian scriban with a flap, opening on three drawers and two drawers inside the flap.

In the 18th century, the famous City of the Doges where the life of the aristocrats and the rich bourgeoisie was spent in luxury and the pleasures of life, Venice was THE center of wealth, fashion and worldly pleasures. The taste for furniture is also very strong and Venetian furniture is distinguished by its lightness, its fantasy, its originality in the use of color. For furniture, the Venetian “depentore” was the first craftsman capable of imitating the lacquers which were very popular from the end of the 17th century. The technique which required great skill is described by Morazzoni: “the craftsman spread on the wood thin layers of” pastiglia “obtained by diluting fine plaster in glue. Once dry the furniture was polished with agate. The most skilful and conscientious lacquers (…) applied with the help of very strong glues fine fabrics neutralizing the play of the wood as a result of the atmospheric variations. tempera the desired subjects which acquire more relief if they are underlined in black or in color by quill pen. Once the paints completely dry the lacquer protected them under several layers of transparent, compact, smooth sandarac, shiny, soft to the touch and waterproof It was varnished up to 18 times, allowing each coat to dry so that the finished work there is not the slightest trace of even the finest brush.
It is with a similar process that the “depentore” executes decorations in relief. Morazzoni describes it: “following the traces of the drawing, he lets the fluid flow from his brush, dripping plaster and glue so that it is evenly distributed. The pellet, although fluid, has a certain density but it is forbidden to use it. ‘craftsman to use a stick whatever it is to correct himself; thus we obtain a kind of bas relief of the thickness of a few millimeters which will then be painted in polychromy or gilded with mordant; these lacquers are also underlined with goose quill and varnished many times. Venice is conquered by the fashion for lacquerware: trays, boxes, snuffboxes and above all furniture with “Chinese” characters bring an exotic note everywhere. It is from these first decades of the eighteenth century that the scriban dates with a flap with light ornaments, characters and pagodas in relief “with the golden drop”. Towards the end of the century, the painter gave free rein to his imagination by creating charming sketches of exotic inspiration: mandarins with long mustaches, servants with fanciful umbrellas, luxuriously dressed ladies are the transvestite characters of Venetian society.

XVIII century,

Venice, Italy

Height: 94 cm (37 in)

Width: 84 cm (33,1 in)

Depth: 47 cm (18,5 in)

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