Domenico Remps’ Cabinet of Curiosities

October 7, 2019

Say the words “Cabinet of Curiosities” and this painting is the most likely thing to come to mind. Painted by German artist Domenico Remps, it’s an early example of trompe l’oeil painting – from the French for “eye deceiver” – in which artists created a three-dimensional perception from a flat surface.

The technique was developed during the Renaissance, when mathematically correct perspective was discovered. Remps, active in Venice in the late c.17th, was considered a master of the genre and this is one of his best-known paintings.

Featured among the treasures are red coral from the Caribbean, very popular with the public of the time, and a “Chinese Puzzle Ball”, also known as “Contrefait balls”, which were made specifically for Cabinets of Curiosity. Carved from ivory, they consisted of nested spheres that could rotate inside each other.

These photos of the original work was taken at the Cabinets of Curiosities exhibition in the FHEL in Landernau, Brittany.

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