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The Cabinet

Jean Macé's (c. 1600-1672) workshop (?)
Paris, France, 1653
Various kinds of wood, bone, iron, glass, marble; carving, engraving, marquetry, gilding, painting
198 × 174 × 60 cm
In the 17th century, Paris emerged as the leading European cabinet-making centre. This period witnessed a surge in the popularity of luxury furniture, particularly those crafted from imported wood like ebony. The artisans who specialized in these exquisite woods were known as ébénistes, a term that set them apart from other furniture artisans.
Throughout the 17th century, Parisian workshops produced numerous cabinets adorned with ebony. While typologically similar, these cabinets displayed a remarkable variety of designs. Parisian cabinets tended to be larger than those crafted in Augsburg or Antwerp, often featuring a table-like lower section.
The cabinet, now housed in the National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, is attributed to the renowned Parisian cabinetmaker Jean Macé (c. 1600-1672). Born in Blois, Macé received training in the Netherlands before returning to France in 1641. He later worked alongside his three sons: Claude, Isaac and Lucas.
The exterior of the cabinet is lavishly decorated with intricate scenes. The outer faces of the drawers in the upper section depict the gods Ceres and Bacchus en route to the wedding of Neptune and Salacia. On the left-hand door, Bacchus is portrayed holding a chalice alongside Venus and Ceres, while the right-hand door features a scene of Mercury resting his head on Venus's chest. Inside the cabinet, drawers and a door reveal a small hall adorned with architectural details and painted images of Mars and Venus. In total, the cabinet has 30 drawers of varying sizes.
Information prepared by Dalius Avižinis
Photographer Vytautas Abramauskas
Inv. No VR-344
Published:: 2024-05-06 14:33 Modified: 2024-05-06 14:36
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