Wardrobe of Clairvaux
Originating from the Abbey of Clairvaux (Aube), this wardrobe has a two-bodied structure typical of the new concepts of furniture of this era. The profusion of its sculpted ornamentation, in the stylistic tradition of Hugues Sambin, makes it without question one of the most beautiful pieces of furniture of the French Renaissance.
Since the second half of the 16th century, architecture influenced the forms of wardrobes, cabinets, buffets, constructed like small “monuments”, and the furniture’s ornamentation became like the Italian style. The decorative motifs of this wardrobe are directly inspired from the school of Fontainebleau: Canephorae, six of them with angels on the upper part and another between the two lower doors, birds, baskets, garlands of fruit and flowers, palmettes and satyr masks.
This piece of furniture, certainly meant to hold its owner’s precious objects, had a green silk lining held in place by gilded buttons with gold round-head nails conserved inside the upper part. This lining was common for precious furniture. This ornamentation, being fragile, has often disappeared from the majority of preserved wardrobes.