Maker: Pietro Giusti (Italian, 1822–1878)
Culture: Italian, Siena
Medium: Carved walnut, ebony, lined with red velvet
Dimensions: 11 x 15 x 10-1/4 in. (27.9 x 38.1 x 26.0 cm)
Credit Line: Purchase, Gift of John D. Rockefeller, by exchange, and Rogers Fund, 1998
Accession Number: 1998.19
Pietro Giusti, one of the most successful nineteenth-century designers and sculptors in Tuscany, was known for his elaborately carved frames and furniture in sixteenth-century styles. Here, Giusti may have been inspired by the work of the Renaissance artist Antonio Barili (1453–1516); Guisti was probably familiar with Barili’s cassone surmounted by the she-wolf with Romulus and Remus and with fabled monsters at the four corners in the Museo Civico, Siena. The city is traditionally thought to have been founded by the Romans, hence the use of the she-wolf on its seal and many of its civic buildings.