Cassoni is the Italian word for the chests, painted with scenes from myth and literature, central to upper-class weddings of the 15th century. Little known today, cassoni deserve recognition as masterworks of the Renaissance. Botticelli, Pesellino and other superlative artists painted them, and they are precious early examples of the mythopoetic subjects that would form the core of European art until the 20th century. The essays in this book shed new light on the meaning of cassoni through informative discussions of Renaissance wedding rituals, male-female relations and daily domestic life. A catalogue section on cassoni in the exhibition that this book accompanies provides a unique guide to the stories of love, marriage and politics depicted on these sumptuous objects.
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