Not only paintings and sculptures: in the lavish palaces of 18th-century Rome, the most impressive elements were often furnishings, true masterpieces of decorative art that reflected the fashion of the time. Thanks to an agreement signed between Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica and Associazione Civita, part of the proceeds realized from the sale of “Civitas” wine has been used to restore one of the Corsini Gallery’s most spectacular 18th-century console tables, now once again on display in the Sala del Camino.
Commissioned by Cardinal Neri Maria Corsini, who in the 18th century outfitted the hall and the adjacent Cardinal’s Gallery, the main nucleus of the Cardinal’s apartment, with precious works, the console is dated around 1730. Its skilled carver still awaits identification, however, although he certainly belonged to one of the Roman workshops that worked in those years for the most aristocratic families and the papal court, such as the prestigious and prolific workshop run by Giuseppe Corsini and his wife Lucia Barbarossa.
The restored console has a flat back and thus had to be placed against a wall. Large volutes with plant elements and female heads decorate its legs; other faces emerge from the stretchers and the apron, embellished with articulated volutes in the form of lion heads. A masterpiece in gilded wood in which the complexity and beauty of the carvings suggest ever new viewpoints.