Émile Gallé "Tale of Genji" Chest of Drawers
This remarkable French Art Nouveau chest of drawers, by Émile Gallé, features walnut and fruitwood marquetry inspired by the "Tale of Genji." This elegant chest of drawers features sinuous borders outlining its top and a wonderful bowing and undulating of the legs. In the marquetry, Gallé has depicted a sunset mirage, while in the foreground, wisps of cloud-like motifs harken back to a stanza in the "Tale of Genji," in the central character's mourning for Fujitsubo, his longtime love. There is a temporal quality in the composition on this chest of drawers, with the left side panel depicts a diurne while the right side panel depicts a nocturne, indicates Gallé's fascination with the balance between night and day, light and dark, light and death. This quiet but powerful composition is resolute and yet gentle in its countenance.
- Product Details
- Curator's Notes
Artist: Émile Gallé
Dimensions: 31.25" height, 33.75" width, 21.25" depth
Materials: French walnut, Fruitwood marquetry, Together with original keys
Literature: Similar chest of drawers is pictured in Gallé Furniture, by Alastair Duncan and Georges de Bartha, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors' Club, 2012, p. 329, plate 15