Gallery 512 - Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century English Decorative Arts
Part of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
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The paneling, furniture, silver, and pottery displayed here feature highly stylized ornament incorporating fantastic figures, columns, geometric patterns, and flowers drawn from the artistic vocabulary of ancient Greece and Rome. The flattened, simplified outlines of the ornament are, however, peculiarly English. The room's richly carved oak paneling was removed from a late sixteenth-century house in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, that was built for the prosperous merchant William Crowe. The furnishings—some contemporary with the room, and some made in the seventeenth century—are indicative of England's growing prosperity and the increasing sophistication of its luxury markets. Crowe himself was engaged in foreign trade; while his own possessions may have been more modest than the museum pieces shown here, he probably owned textiles, silver, and furniture that reflected his wealth and international taste.