By the arrival
of Charles IV (1788-1808), benches were a common wsight, featuring
Neoclassical ornamentation with
a French influence.
bench was made to seat four people. This type of seat
represents an innovation in furniture making. Cushions
and low chairs were used by women in the salon
de estrado before this new bench design was created.
Because they offered seating for more than one, these
benches facilitated the rituals of courtship..
bench shown was made with curved arms and lathe-turned
posts. The arms and the apron have marquetry
ornamentation. This is an art process where small pieces
of wood are inlaid into a wooden veneer. Marquetry designs
ranged from simple geometric designs to the very ornate.
bench in this exhibit shows the confluence of many cultures.
The use of marquetry woodwork originated in Europe during
the Baroque period. However, the style of marquetry used
in these pieces were uniquely created by the artisans
in Mexico who crafted geometric bands with two colors
of wood. Garlands, ovals, circles, fluting
and Pompeian urns with
stair-stepped bases at the bottom. The front legs are
slightly tapered cylinders. These styles and motifs are
characteristic of art designs used in ancient Greece and
Rome centuries earlier. The straight rear legs, however,
are a unique feature. The Mexican rustic style of the
rear legs was a great departure from the contemporary
fragile pieces being build t in Europe.
Draw a marquetry design using geometric shapes and
patterns that illustrates symmetry.
Language Arts: Write an essay about something you
collect. What do you collect and why? Tell what motivated
you to start your collection and the significance it has
Social Studies: Compare and contrast courtship rituals
in Mexico and France in the nineteenth century. Make a
venn diagram showing how the customs were alike and how
they were different.