Review of Sgabello from Italian Renaissance

Sgabello in general is one of Italian Renaissance chairs and developed from box stool. This Sgabello is made in sixteenth century in Florence, Italy and painted by a walnut. It has significant amount of curve lines on its design, some carvings and consists of foots, legs, stretcher, apron, seat, backrest and crest rail.

This Sgabello has two flat legs at the front and back side, and these legs have the ractalinia verticale shape and the mounted shape at the angle. Then, the width of these flat legs are approximately same as the width of the apron and seat.

Starting from the bottom, these two legs consist four thin horizontal rectangle shaped foots and each of the legs has two foots. Then, there is the small round shaped gap between the left foot and the right foot on the same flat leg. Moving to the details of legs, the first of all, the front flat leg is curved as an hourglass without the half bottom side and as a female body from the neck to the hip.

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There is the thin vertical rectangle on the thinnest part, which is the waist on the female body; it is extended between left edge to right edge. Above the two foots, there are another two male carving which face outward, and each of them has the slight different face. Then the front leg also has two winged female wood carving on the both left and right edges starting from its apron to the top of its foots.

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Between those two winged female wood carving, there is one male face carving which is resemble with a satyr mask from ancient Greece. Moving to an apron, the design and shape of it are obviously inspired by Greek architectural elements.

This is because in the middle of fifteenth century, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing system; it spreaded an information and a text from the past across Europe. Therefore, in the Italian Renaissance, there is a movement which artists and architects learn ancient designs and compete with the achievement of the ancient designs. Then, they rediscover and bring designs from Greek and Roman designs into their designs. Specifically, the bottom part of the apron which is connected the head of two winged female carving on the front leg has the classic dart shaped carving of ionic order’s echinus.

Moreover, the top part of the apron which touches the bottom surface of the seat also has the classical volutes of ionic order on the both left and right sides. Then, these classic volutes are parallel to the seat as volutes of ionic order in Greek architecture are parallel to the architrave. The inner surfaces of both front and back legs do not have any carvings, patterns and motifs and are simple flat. In addition, the back leg also does not have those decorations and designs even on the outer surface. The stretcher joins the front and back legs and is located under the apron. The shape of this stretcher is inspired by the shape of ogival (onion) dome from the Byzantium. This chair does not have arms since arms are hindrance to especially Renaissance female who wear wide dresses.

In addition, as mentioned above, sgabello is developed from a box stool which does not have arms. The seat has a round shape which goes to the behind of the backrest and has a slight thickness; the side surface of it has upward-pointing dart carved on it. On the surface which faces to up, there are two low-relief classic designs such as of ionic order’s volutes and palmettes which are often used with egg and dart molding on ionic order in Greek architecture. The two volutes of ionic order are placed on the front left and right side and connected by two round lines, and one of those two lines is along with the shape of seat. The backrest is inverted triangular shape with T-shaped back support on its front side and there are two classical volutes of ionic order on the lower side of the outer edges.

Then above these volutes, the outer edges are carved with female figures which are placed diagonally with their scrolled legs on the lower edge and their heads at the upper edge. The space between female figures and the centerline is filled with low-relief scrolling leaves which can be seen in Greek design. Above the backrest, there is the mountain shaped cresting rail which has the crest with the acanthus plant carving around. The crest can show a symbol of the family to a guests since sgabello is used in a dining room where a guest comes. The both side of the crest is carved with two female figures who have wings and hold the crest. Below these carvings, there is the area which carved with the classic dart shaped carving and volutes of ionic order.

Overall, this sgabello fully represents that the Italian Renaissance uses Greek architecture designs and elements into not only their architecture but also their furniture. Then, this sgabello consists both the Italian Renaissance design and material, walnut in the case of this sgabello, and Greek architecture designs and convert to the suitable style for themselves as the Italian Renaissance architectures. Thus, this sgabello fits into the Italian Renaissance architectures and culture.

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Review of Sgabello from Italian Renaissance. (2021, Dec 17). Retrieved from

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