These chairs show the exuberant curves and delicate ornamentation of the 18th century Rococo style. The undulating lines of the oval back give the piece a particularly sculptural appearance. Continuing the floral motif of the tapestry above, carved foliage sprouts along the arms and legs. Notice the small carved armrests that playfully mimic upholstered pads.
Isabella Gardner was unusual among American collectors in preferring Italian furniture over French, English, or American. While she often worked with advisors in forming her painting collection, Gardner sought out furniture on her own. Her use of furniture helps create the Museum’s intimate atmosphere, and chairs like these seem to have their own personality.