I asked Nance of MY Favorite French Antiques if she could tell us anything about the painted secretary. She was so kind to respond. Thanks Nance. Yall go check out her lovely blog....beautiful images and great stories!
The top of the secretary throws me...but the paint makes me think Venetian. I saw a Venetian style painted secretary (early 20thc) on Ruby Lane...the drawers reminded me of the secretary used in the room.
I see they like a mix of French and Italian.
So now I'm on a quest!
Just what is Venetian style?
It seems that the Venetian style of painting was developed in the 16th century from the Venice area of Italy, primarily by decendants of the Bellini family (and I thought they just made frozen peach girly drinks!)
The Venetian artisans and furniture makers developed their own style which became very popular thoughout Europe. They were highly influenced by the Chinese laquered pieces, and chinoiserie.
Their style centered around cabinets, shelves and mirrors. Carvers used local woods like walnut or olive wood to shape simple legs and ornate uppers.
The surface preparation using a gesso technique insured a fine ground for decoration and detailed work. The Venetians had a fondness for pastels, and most of the pieces crafted during this time were painted and decorated with soft pastel tones.
Another favorite combination was black with pearl or silver handles.
This incredibly prolific, artist region of Italy also gave us Venetian mirrors....
This is an antique Venetian mirror, circa 1700's
which we still copy and make new today.
The technique for authentic Venetian plaster walls came from the artists of the region...
and we're still creating the finish in homes today.
Obviously, this period and region has been an influencer in design for hundreds of years, and is responsible for much of the classic designs that give character to our current homes.
Do you think they are responsible for Venetian Blinds as well??? I think that's a story for another day!