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Arts of Europe

The MFAH collections of art created on the European continent encompass artistic styles across the time line of history, from the ancient world to the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern era to the 21st century.

 
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CARLO BUGATTI
Italian, 1856 - 1940
Armchair
1890–1900
Wood, vellum, silk, copper, brass, and pewter

47 x 28 1/4 x 26 1/2 inches

 
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Mecom, Jr.

Arts of Europe
 
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Italian designer Carlo Bugatti created some of the most exotic furniture of the Art Nouveau period. This flamboyant armchair is characteristic of his eccentric design aesthetic.

Bugatti combined a wide range of materials with wildly different decorative sources, including Moorish- and Japanese-inspired motifs. With its inlaid arms, repoussé copper work, and decorative tassels, this chair exemplifies Bugatti's style. The nonsense writing on the parchment seat was intended to look Islamic, a fanciful nod to exotic worlds.