A NORTH ITALIAN RENAISSANCE CARVED WALNUT REFECTORY

A NORTH ITALIAN RENAISSANCE CARVED WALNUT REFECTORY, by THOMAE BRANCHIE DE MONDAINO

 

ORIGIN : NORTH ITALY
PERIOD : RENAISSANCE, Dated 1567

 

PROVENANCE

Adolfo Loewi, Venice, Italy, 1930

Werner Abegg, acquired from the above through Luigi Bellini

Metropolitan Museum of Art, a gift from Werner Abegg and funds from donors, 1959

 

Length approx : 25 m
Height approx : 2.30 m

 

TABLES AND CREDENZA

1-The small one

Length : 4.70 m (8 drawers)
Width : 67.5 cm
Height : 83 cm
Height with base : 95 cm

2-The big one

Length: 7.73 m (12 drawers)
Width : 69 cm
Height : 80 cm
Height with base: 93 cm

3-The Credenza

Height: 106 cm
Length : 223 cm
Depth : 85 cm

 

 

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

 

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Description

Comprising wall panels incorporating benches, two refectory tables and a credenza

This rare refectory, or dining room, is a type that was used in monasteries and academic institutions in Renaissance Italy. Monks ate at the long benches and important officials sat at raised benches at the end of the hall.

The inscriptions carved into the wainscoting of this panelled room are comprised of a series of independent sentences, which, possibly, are quotations from the monastic rule of Saint Augustine. Augustine was a Latin philosopher and theologian from Roman Africa and was generally considered as one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time. As the original order of these sentences or quotations cannot be determined with certainty, the following is a listing of them :

Locus penarii

Omnibus aequa lance

Oculi omnium in te sperant et tu da illis cibum

Edent paupes et saturabantur et laudabunt Dominum

Fratres fauces vestre non solum sumant cibum sed et aures esuriant

Dei verbum

Ex regula S. P. Augustini

MDLXVII

Opificium Thomae Branchie de Mondaino

  

Translation in English :

Place of penance

Punishment equal for all

The eyes of all turn in hope towards you and you give them food

The poor will eat and will be replenished and will praise the Lord

Brethren not only your mouths should receive food but also your ears should be filled with the word of the Lord

From the rule of the Holy Father Augustine

1567

The work of Thomae Branchie de Mondaino

 

No record of the name of the woodcarver Thomae Branchie de Mondaino has been found thus far. His place of origin may be either Mondaino in the province of Emilia Romagna or Mondaino in the Marches. Information from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York indicates that the room comes from a refectory of an Augustine convent in the province of Recanati in the Marches.