Neoclassical Chairs, Italian Work, circa 1830
This set of four neoclassical chairs dating from the early 19th century combines an ancient classical repertoire with a bold structure, a guarantee of innovation in the private properties of this period. A trapezoidal seat is supported by sheathed feet with lion’s feet in the front; in homage to the models of the previous century. The curved sabre-shaped rear legs and the dice for connecting to the belt still echo the Directoire style. The whole is devoid of armrests, for the benefit of a great functional lightness. All the boldness of this piece of furniture is concentrated in the openwork backrest. In imitation of a lyre, it ends in a scroll and is decorated with decorative bronzes: The top of the backrest is decorated with a plaque engraved with scrolls, while three medallions are affixed on either side. These represent gorgonian heads; frequent iconographic themes referring to Greco-Roman mythology. The cut-outs in this backrest, alternating between full and empty, as well as the stylized geometric decoration, refer to Italian know-how in interior design, while prefiguring certain Art Nouveau compositions from the Peninsula (Liberty style).