- unknown artist
Unknown artist, Settees, 1770s. Mahogany and fabric upholstery; 49 × 25 × 86 in. Gift of John Critcher Freyer for the Frank Barrows Freyer Collection at the Denver Art Museum, 1969.375.1.
Following basic European styles, furniture in colonial Latin America developed regional variations. Proportions in the New World were often grander and heavier than their European counterparts and the decoration was often more ornate, particularly during the Baroque period. Often local details were incorporated into the decorative elements alongside European allegorical and classical imagery. In some cases Asian influence can be seen in Latin American furniture as a result of Asian decorative arts imported via the Manila galleons.
This settee is one of a pair and is executed in the stouter and heavier Peruvian colonial version of the English Queen Anne or Chippendale style. Also, the front skirt and back splats are much more elaborately carved than their European counterparts. It is an excellent example of the Peruvian appropriation and adaptation of a mainstream European style.
--Donna Pierce, 2015