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Inspired by Ancient Greece and Rome: Wardrobe


Wood with marquetry ornamentation
c. 1800
199 x 103 x 46 cm

Made in Mexico this wooden wardrobe reflects the neoclassical style that was prevalant in Europe at the time.


Wardrobes were first used in New Spain in the Eighteenth century. Before this time clothes were stored in boxes and trunks. Wardrobes presented a solution to the problem of keeping one's clothes well organized and undamaged.

Technique or Process

This wardrobe is designed with an elaborate inlaid wood pattern on wooden veneer. The process is called marquetry. The front panels of the the wardrobe doors are decorated with geometric rhomboids in light and dark woods.

Cultural Roots

Wardrobes became common by the fifteenth century in Europe, but did not reach new Spain until the early nineteenth century. They were made in many diverse styles. They were sometimes monumental in decoration and proportions during the Baroque period of art. The style of this piece is elegant and austere. The artist has carefully crafted it using Greek and Roman architectural forms, sober colors, and flat linear decoration. Its classic design is characteristic of the furniture made at this time in Viceregal Mexico.

Lesson Plans
Visual Arts Lesson: Creating your own wardrobe
Extension Activities

Math:Using a ruler and color pencils create a geometric design with the rhomboid shape.

Language Arts: Write a story about a secret compartment in you wardrobe.

Social Studies, Research the history of containers for clothing from boxes to wardrobes. Describe the different types of containers and what countries they came from.


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