Display Cabinet (Kabinettschrank)

Object Details

Title:

Display Cabinet (Kabinettschrank)

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Three wood carvings by Albert Jansz. Vinckenbrinck (Dutch, about 1604 - 1664/1665)

Culture:

German

Place(s):

Augsburg, Germany (Place created)

Date:

about 1630

Medium:

Ebony and other tropical and European woods, porphyry, gemstones, marble, pewter, ivory, bone, tortoiseshell, enamel, mirror glass, brass, and painted stone

Dimensions:

73 x 57.9 x 59.1 cm, 53.0709 kg (28 3/4 x 22 13/16 x 23 1/4 in., 117 lb.)

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Each of the four sides of this cabinet opens to reveal an unexpectedly complex series of drawers. Collectors from the early 1600s would have used cabinets of this kind to store such rare and exotic objects as medals, gems, or shells.

The cabinet, however, was conceived as a work of art in its own right. Various masters would have executed the cabinet's diverse decoration, although only one can be named: the Dutch carver Albert Jansz. Vickenbrinck signed several of the fruitwood reliefs on one side with his monogram, ALVB. Each drawer is richly embellished in a variety of techniques and materials showing biblical, allegorical, historical, and mythological subjects. These include the symbols of the Passion, Judith and Holofernes, the contest of Apollo and Marsyas, the deaths of Cleopatra and Lucretia, and two Renaissance-style portrait medallions. The number of subjects in which women figure prominently may have served a cautionary or moralizing function, while the religious themes express a concern for Christian virtue.

Exhibitions
French Master Drawings (December 3, 1991 to February 16, 1992)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), December 3, 1991 to February 16, 1992
Devices of Wonder: From the World in a Box to Images on a Screen (November 13, 2001 to February 3, 2002) (5)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 13, 2001 to February 3, 2002
Art of the Royal Court (July 1 to September 21) (5)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), July 1 to September 21, 2008