Created for the music room of Solomon R. Guggenheim’s residence in Port Washington, Long Island, these screens are an artistic collaboration between the designer Jean Dunand and the sculptor Séraphin Soudbinine. While Soudbinine conceived the composition and carved the bas-relief figures of otherworldly angels and rocklike forms, Dunand lacquered the screen. The titles are drawn from the Italian terms for very softly and very loudly played music. Guggenheim’s widow, Irene Rothschild, donated the screens to the Metropolitan following the death of her husband, a passionate collector of modern art and the namesake
of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.