Court workshop of the grand dukes of Tuscany (Italian, Florence)
Various exotic hardwoods veneered on oak, with ebony moldings; plaques of hardstones and slate; pietre dure work of various hardstones, colored marbles, and rock crystal; 23 1/4 x 38 1/8 x 14 1/8 in. (59.1 x 96.8 x 35.9 cm)
Wrightsman Fund, 1988 (1988.19)
The arms on this cabinet, three bees on a lapis shield surmounted with a cardinal's hat, belong to a cardinal of the Barberini family, probably Maffeo Barberini, who reigned as Pope Urban VIII from 1623 to 1644. The design of the cabinet reflects classical principles, and the iconography of many of the panels derives from classical literature. In the center is Orpheus, charming an audience of animals with his music, and other animals figure in scenes from Aesop's fables based on woodcuts by Francesco del Tuppo published in 1485.