About this artwork
Luigi Frullini was the son of a woodcarver under whom he learned his craft. The talented Frullini was especially skilled at depicting the beauty of nature. He was equally gifted at rendering children, as we can see in his sensitive portrayal of infants on each arm of this chair.
Frullini showed his work at many of the international exhibitions that took place in Europe and the United States in the second half of the 19th century. These fairs were crucial in disseminating the latest styles to potential clients and retailers, as well as the general public. After exhibiting works and winning two prizes at the National Exposition in Florence in 1861, Frullini went on to participate in a succession of international fairs in Dublin, London, Paris, Philadelphia, Turin, and Vienna. From 1870 to 1890 his workshop expanded to accommodate the commissions that poured in from both sides of the Atlantic.
This massive armchair, with a putto (a chubby infant) on each arm, is carved L FRULLINI FIRENZE 1876. While Frullini himself most likely carved only the putti, the rest of the chair’s decoration testifies to the consistency and skill of his studio carvers. The virtuosic form and carving of the Renaissance-inspired ornament would have appealed to affluent patrons wishing to emulate the nobility of an earlier, more opulent age.
Currently Off View
- European Decorative Art
- Luigi Frullini
- Walnut and cut velvet upholstery
- 88.9 × 93.9 cm (35 × 37 in.)
- Through prior gifts of Emily Crane Chadbourne, Edna Olive Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Regenstein, Sr., and Mrs. Gustavus F. Swift, Jr.; restricted gift of Kenilworth Garden Club and Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Southworth; Richard T. Crane, Jr., Endowment; European Decorative Arts Purchase Fund