Barberini Cabinet

Maker: Galleria dei Lavori, Florence

Artist and publisher: After woodcut illustrations by Francesco Del Tuppo (Italian, 1443/44–1501) , published in Naples in 1485

Date: ca. 1606–23

Culture: Italian, Florence

Medium: Oak and poplar veneered with various exotic hardwoods, with ebony moldings and plaques of marble, slate (paragon); pietre dure work consisting of colored marbles, rock crystal, and various hardstones

Dimensions: 23 1/4 x 38 1/8 x 14 1/8 in. (59.1 x 96.8 x 35.9 cm)

Classification: Woodwork-Furniture

Credit Line: Wrightsman Fund, 1988

Accession Number: 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.