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Chest and spalliera with the arms of Lorenzo Morelli and Vaggia Nerli The Morelli Chest...

IMAGE number
COU6086081
Title
Chest and spalliera with the arms of Lorenzo Morelli and Vaggia Nerli (The Morelli Chest), 1472 (tempera on poplar with gilding)
Artist
d'Antonio, Biagio (c.1446-1516) / Italian
Location
The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)
Medium
tempera on poplar with gilding
Date
1472 AD (C15th AD)
Dimensions
109.2x193x76.2 cms
Description

Maker Zanobi di Domenico Depth: spalliera :; Width: spalliera panel : 162.5 cm; Height: cassone : 109.2 cm; Width: spalliera : 216 cm; Height: spalliera panel : 54.5 cm; Height: side panels : 40.5 cm; Height: front panel : 40.5 cm; Width: side panels : 35.5 cm; Width: front panel : 137 cm; Width: cassone : 193 cm; Height: spalliera : 102.8 cm; Depth: cassone : 76.2 cm; Wealthy fifteenth-century Florentines often commissioned lavishly decorated chests, called cassoni in Italian, when they married. These were costly and highly valued objects. A merchant named Lorenzo Morelli ordered this chest, and its pair, the Nerli chest, when he married Vaggia Nerli in 1472. They both have their painted backboards, called spallieri, hanging above, making them unique examples of complete marriage chests. Painted onto the front panel of the Morelli cassone is an episode from Livy’s history of early Rome (Ab urbe condita) showing the courageous Roman soldier and statesman Marcus Furius Camillus chasing the Gauls from Rome without handing over the ransom they had demanded. The Nerli chest also features Camillus as the hero of its main painted narrative. The backboard is painted in imitation of a richly patterned curtain drawn open to reveal the story of Horatius Cocles, a noble officer who valiantly held the Pons Sublicius, an important bridge into Rome, as it was being attacked by Etruscan troops. Seated figures of Justice and Fortitude are painted on the sides, extending the themes of the central panel and backboard. Both families’ coats of arms are prominently displayed on the corners of the chest, with the Morelli on the left.

Photo credit
Photo © The Courtauld / Bridgeman Images

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Dimension [pixels] Dimension in 300dpi [mm] File size [MB]
Large 3802 × 6976 px 322 × 591 mm 14 MB
Medium 558 × 1024 px 47 × 87 mm 0 MB
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