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Cassone Panel with Neptune Presiding over a Wedding

Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion

Cassone Panel with Neptune Presiding over a Wedding

Culture Group: Florentine
Culture: Italian, Florentine
Date: c. 1560
Medium: Carved walnut with gilding
Dimensions:
21 3/4 x 67 3/4 inches (55.2 x 172.1 cm)
Classification: Decorative Art
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Label Text:This wedding chest (cassone) panel uses both high and low relief to give the illusion of spatial recession in a scene depicting the god Neptune and other mythological figures cavorting on the ocean waves at a sea-wedding. The central figure of Neptune projects into the viewer's space, being carved almost completely in the round. His voluminous form with its powerful musculature is strongly reminiscent of French and Italian sculptures of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, such as Giambologna of Florence. The sculptor of the Nasher's cassone panel seems to have closely studied the carving of classical sarcophagi, in which similar depictions of mythological subjects and deep carving of forms can be found. The Nasher's cassone panel was probably made in preparation for the wedding of a member of an elite Italian family, whose yet-unidentified coat-of-arms is depicted on the right corner.
Provenance: Purchased July 7, 1999 through (Sotheby's London, lot 68) by (Blumka Gallery, New York); purchased February 22, 2000 by Duke University Museum of Art, now Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
Object number: 2000.2.1