Credenza

Accession Number
1955/1.228

Title
Credenza

Artist(s)
Italian

Object Creation Date
1500-1530

Medium & Support
oak wood

Dimensions
41 ½ in x 67 in x 23 in (105.41 cm x 170.18 cm x 58.42 cm);41 ½ in x 67 in x 23 in (105.41 cm x 170.18 cm x 58.42 cm)

Credit Line
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker

Label copy
March 28, 2009
The Italian word “credenza” derives from the medieval Latin “credentia,” which may be loosely translated as “confidence given.” The word refers to a centuries-old practice favored by nobles accustomed to courtly intrigue, in which food brought from the kitchen was first set on a credenza, or sideboard, where it was tasted by a servant to protect the nobles from poisoning. This credenza features decorative and functional components that form an artful and balanced composition of repeated geometric shapes and harmonious proportions.

Subject matter
The Italian word "credenza" derives from the medieval Latin "credentia" (loosely translated as "security given"). The word refers to a centuries-old practice favored by lords and ladies accustomed to the treacheries of court intrigue. Food brought from the kitchen was first set on a credenza (or sideboard) near the dining table where it was tasted by a servant to protect the nobles from poisoning by their enemies.

Physical Description
The front of this handsome oak credenza, or sideboard, is divided into halves by three pilasters. Each half is outfitted with a drawer and a door below. The decorative and functional components are artfully arranged across the front of the piece to form a balanced composition of repeated geometric shapes and harmonious proportions.

Primary Object Classification
Furniture and Furniture Accessories

Primary Object Type
cabinet

Additional Object Classification(s)
Wood and Woodcarving

Collection Area
Western

Rights
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Keywords
credenzas (sideboards)
eating
pilasters
sideboards (furniture)
wood (plant material)

1 Related Resource

Rustic
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ AMH, 1st floor ➜ 102 (Richard and Rosann Noel Gallery)