Pair of mirrors

Venetian carver

Venezia, first half of the 18th century

Material: Carved and gilded wood

Size: 190 x 118 cm

review by Lorenza Di Bartolomeo

Ancient and very valuable pair of Venetian mirrors in richly carved and gilded wood of the Eighteenth century. These highly refined mirrors were made by Venetian glassmakers in their renowned workshops. They are characterised by the shaped frame which are often adorned with another small mirror and finely carved cymatiums, as in these pairs. From the Seventeenth century onwards, using mirrors as a home decor became in vogue. These large and richly decorated mirrors were seldom hung on the walls of large reception rooms, or placed on coffers and consoles. Rococo decorative mirrors produced in the first half of the eighteenth century appear to be rectangular or round. Usually, these frames are made of walnut or mahogany and adorned with gilded sculptures and carvings with floral motifs, rosettes, garlands, and elegant scrolls. These specimens are characterised by the presence of two small mirrors: one on the top and one below the frame, which is a very rare feature. The small mirrors are both engraved with allegorical figures painted in a particularly bright white that is strongly in contrast with the dark background. These mirrors are appreciated for many reasons. First of all, for the ability to transform a room giving character and creating perspective illusions that give one the feeling of greater space, depth and brightness. Furnishing a house with an antique mirror makes a very distinct impression. These mirrors are characterised by fine elegance and majesty, by a harmonious balance between all its parts, and by gracefulness and airiness given by the perforations and carvings that seem to create lace and broderie anglaise. They are more than worthy to be housed in the most important national and international museums. The state of preservation is excellent.

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