||Wilfried De Kesel, Greet Dhont
17th Century Lacquer Cabinets
Wilfried De Kesel, Greet Dhont
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Seventeenth century Flanders was a cultural hotspot for both the fine and decorative arts. With well established ports in Bruges, Antwerp and Ghent, it became an important transit region, both for the export of local produce and the import of highly ornamental luxury products and valuables, such as lacquer boxes and ornamental lacquer cabinets imported from the Orient. These oriental high-gloss items, richly inlaid with wood and intricate mother of pearl motives, were built to stand the test of time. As the demand for these luxury items increased, Flemish craftsmen mastered the skills and techniques and created their own lacquer tradition. They didn't merely imitate Oriental lacquer decoration, but designed a peculiarly Flemish lacquer style that has long been overlooked in art history, outshined by the English and French lacquer art from the Chinoiserie era.
No research had been carried out so far on lacquer furniture in Flanders. Many years of interest in lacquer art encouraged author Wilfried De Kesel to investigate the subject. This is the first comprehensive book on 17th century Flemish lacquers and an in-depth study to help preserve the skill and the survival of this part of Flemish cultural heritage.
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