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Cabinet with Mythological Scenes
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Cabinet with Mythological Scenes

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Elegant cabinets made of polished ebony, a black wood from Africa or India, were prized at the French court during the reign of King Louis XIII (1601-43) as works of art as well as places to keep precious possessions. The exterior of this one is carved with reliefs depicting moralizing scenes from Greek and Roman mythology. In contrast, the playful interior is like a theater set replicating the intricate architecture of a grand residence. Alcoves and false vistas of Roman ruins create shifting perspectives complemented by the inlay pattern of the floor. In the "ceiling" painting, Icarus falls to his death, because the wax he used to attach the wings to his back melted when he flew too near the sun. The drawers are carved with everyday activities from each month in a farmer's year, beginning with January, represented by idle peasants carousing before a fire.

Damages consolidated and inpainted

Date Description Narrative
6/15/1954Treatmentcleaned; repaired; coated
5/03/1960Treatmentcleaned; loss compensation
12/01/1964Treatmentrepaired; loss compensation
3/15/1988Treatmentrepaired; cleaned
4/08/1988Examinationexamined for condition
11/11/1988Examinationexamined for condition
11/15/1989Examinationexamined for condition
5/09/1993Examinationexamined for condition
5/25/1993Examinationexamined for condiition
1/01/1996Examinationexamined for survey
8/13/1996Examinationexamined for condition
10/01/2005Treatmentcleaned; coated; repaired; loss compensation
  • World of Wonder. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971-1972.
  • Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001.
Provenance Baron de Boisseau, prior to 1876; Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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1630-1650 (Baroques)
wood (ebony) veneer, marquetry of various woods and bone, wood, gilded bronze mounts, dyed ivory, and paint
Accession Number
75 9/16 x 69 5/16 in. (192 x 176 cm)


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