Italian Period Styles

Cincquecento, 1500-1600: The High Renaissance. The first half was the great period of the Renaissance.

Furniture developed consistently out of the early style, adding, embellishing, expanding types and decoration. Dignified formal richness is achieved by bold carving, free and brilliant, utilizing the whole vocabulary of classical decoration. The acanthus leaf has infinite variety; likewise guilloche, rinceaux, flutings, animal forms, gargoyles, caryatids, scrolls and volutes, imbrications, gadrooning, paterae, molded panes, pilasters, and architectural cornices, intarsia, etc. Newer are cartouches, strapwork, turned rosettes, broken pediments. Paint appears less frequently. Carving in positive relief is abundant.

 Italian Renaissance

Chairs were made more comfortable by cushions, tables were used in greater variety, beds were built as four-post frames, chests had animal feet, sideboards appeared in diverse shapes and the whole catalogue of furniture grew. Carving was universally rich but judicious.

Sources: The Encyclopeida of Furniture by Joseph Aronson and History of Interior Design Furniture by Robbie G. Blakemore


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