Title:Writing deskArtist:Artist UnknownDate:c. 1760Creation Place:Europe, Italy, VeniceCredit Line:The Putnam Dana McMillan FundAccession Number:76.74
This exuberantly carved, painted, and gilded writing desk illustrates the vitality and luxury of 18th-century Venetian interiors. Although Venice was declining as a naval power and commercial port, its nobility and bourgeoisie continued to spend lavishly on their homes. Like the furniture that enhanced these dwellings, this desk possesses a bold design, vigorous carving, and brilliantly lacquered flowers and figures.
This object serves both as a writing desk, opening at the top in three different places, and as a chest of drawers, hidden behind a large cupboard door. When closed, these various doors, with their gilded bronze hinges, disguise the function of the desk.