Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Bronze Room

These are a few pics I took of the bronze collection at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Many of the artifacts in this room are credited to Andrea Briosco - nicknamed Riccio (meaning 'curly') for his hair - and his peers in northern Italy, and are believed to have been made between the late 15th and the mid 16th century.

The time and location puts them squarely in the era when 'grotesque' art was all the rage, and this influence can be seen in the mixture of functional objects with human, animal and plant parts.


Oil lamps:

Incense burner:

A few closer details (notice how the 'feet' are actually heads? The more you look, the more you see):

Quill holder:

Inkwell with three compartments (also with heads for feet, and a classic 'grotesque' human/plant figure across the side):

One half of a pair of andirons:


A covered bowl, possibly a perfume burner:

Satyr with inkwell (the vase) AND lamp (the shell):

These objects make you realise just how pervasive the 'grotesque' aesthetic was (at least, for people who could afford this stuff in their house), as well as how it intersected with depictions of mythological creatures such as sea monsters and satyrs.

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