Magnificent Renaissance furniture, French double cupboard of the Dauphiné from the second half of the 16th century. This narrowed sideboard with the Evangelists in walnut wood perfectly represents the inspirations of the second half of the sixteenth century, which deliver prestigious models of cupboards, built according to a new architectural design; two superimposed bodies, the top recessed simply placed on the lower cabinet, four panels assembled in mitre, a row of median drawers. The layout of the decoration is totally linked to architecture: friezes carved on the entablature and terms applied to the jambs and frames. The use of walnut is becoming more widespread, a source of great refinement in the decor and a smoother patina (J. Thirion). The terms confine the leaves: female figure in the centre, male in lateral position. Simpler and hieratic on the lower body where their sheath is adorned with a feather motif; richer in the upper part, with a varied position of the arms and a sheath covered with mascaron and fruit fall. They are closer to the terms of Musi or Du Cerceau than to those of Sambin. The woman term sketches the gesture of the Venus modesty borrowed from Jacques Androuet of the Cerceau, appreciated by Renaissance woodcarvers (cf. the horsemen's wardrobe of the old Dardel collection or the wardrobe of the Paul Dupuy museum in Toulouse from the Du Mège collection, among others...). Mascarons surmount them, faces of angels, fauna or Indian masks. Horizontal surfaces lend themselves to the organization of friezes. On the front of the drawers, sea horses clash on either side of a decorative shield, ornaments dear to the Ecole de Fontainebleau. Scenes of deer, wild boar, bull and bear hunting, enliven the architrave. The folding doors of the lower body accommodate Burgundian cabbages, leather scrolls, pistils prolonged of beaded stamens, organized symmetrically around a stylised flower.
The ornament extends to the sides of this Renaissance furniture, with Indian heads framed by chimera and foliated consoles. In this ornamental setting with a controlled abundance of ornaments, the main scenes occupy the two leaves of the noble body, inscribed in an oval cartridge surrounded by soft arabesques and olive branches. The first two Evangelists in the canonical order, St. Matthew and St. Mark, are carved in bas-relief according to formulas that date back to the Middle Ages: they are seated, equipped with a tablet and writing, accompanied by their attributes. Matthew, seated on a throne, is inspired by the curly angel leaning over his manuscript. Mark, with the lion at his feet, his symbol, turns his head, attentive to the Word of God. The figures are based on models borrowed from illustrated books and prints of Italian and French masters from the early Renaissance period. Other XVIth century cupboards declined this representation to the same one, including that of the castle of Coligny, having belonged to the famous admiral who served the royal power under the reigns of Francis I and Henry II and under the regency of Catherine de Médicis.
Really good condition
Usual restorations, panels of the two lower leaves repaired and three small interior drawers of the upper body missing