18th Century Giltwood Stool in the Manner of Giovanni Battista Piranesi
the X shaped gilt-wood frame carved with four lions mask terminals to the padded arms, a loose-cushioned seat standing on scrolling legs with paw feet. Retaining original gilding.
One of the few known pieces of Giovanni Piranesi’s furniture to survive is a table, in the collection of The Minneapolis Institute of Art (illustrated), which was one of a pair made for the Roman state apartments of a nephew of Pope Clement XIII. He modeled the legs—carved like winged chimeras (mythological monsters, part lion, part goat)
Giovanni Battista Piranesi sketched a design for a stool, now held in The Morgan Library (illustrated), in which there are strong comparrisons with the design of the present model such as the semi-circular upper section of the X frame raised on scrolling legs with paw feet and the cabochon boss at the junction of the X.
In 1769 he published Diverse Manners of Ornamenting Chimneys and All Other Parts of Houses, a collection of imaginative designs for clocks, vases, chimneypieces, and even coaches. Several of his designs for chimneypieces (illustrated) feature lions masks similar to the present stool and the table now in the collection of The Minneapolis Institute of Art
The versatile Piranesi was a printmaker, archaeologist, architect, and designer. His numerous etchings of Roman ruins contributed greatly to 18th-century Europe’s interest in the ancient world.