Cassoni are elaborately painted chests produced in Italy from the fourteenth to sixteenth century as wedding gifts commissioned either in pairs for the bride and groom respectively or by the groom to hold his bride’s dowry. In Florence, a centre of production for these objects, the front and sides of the chest were often colourful figurative panel paintings depicting mythological or chivalrous scenes. These stories provide an interesting insight into the Italian Renaissance concept of marital love, gendered virtues and social status, as well as the increasingly sophisticated intellectual world of wealthy Italians during this period. The Burrell Collection’s Judgement of Paris, painted in the mid-fifteenth century, was once part of a cassone. Subject to scholarly debate for over a century, this painting is associated with other panel paintings, revealing more of the narrative of the original cassone, but also innovations in style which make this piece internationally significant.
Dr Samuel Gallacher is Keeper of The Burrell Collection, Glasgow and former Assistant Director of the Medici Archive Project, Florence. His PhD focused on the collection, patronage, exchange, and display of art objects at the Medici court in the sixteenth century.
Location: The Burrell Collection
Event type: This is a seated, in-person talk. Spaces for this are on a first come, first served basis. This talk will be given in the central access core of the Burrell Collection on Level 0, near to to our restaurant.
This event is part of the Art History Festival (19-23 September 2023), which has been organised with the Association of Art History. Glasgow Museums are hosting a number of talks as part of this programme.