Bookcase with open shelves

Bookcase with open shelves

Author: design attributed to Ammannati Bartolomeo (1511/ 1592)

Cultural context: made by a local workshop in Veneto, Italy

Date: 16th century A.D.


Bookcase once made with open shelves. It was made with fir wood and pine wood ; at the present it has 9 modules. The front is decorated with half-columns and a projecting cornice. Scholars agree to recognize in this furniture a typical venetian “scanzia” that is to say a case for items and books, hold together. Moreover, the architectonical arrangement of the front shows punctual references to Vitruvius’ treatise on Architecture (De Architectura) especially with regards to the ‘in podio’ columns. The designer of this case should have well known the ancient sources and used them in the applied arts. Scholars proposed the designer could have been Bartolomeo Ammannati who worked in Padua for Marco Mantova Benavides during his stays in town.

Materials and techniques: fir and pine wood / stucco / gilding

Dimensions: height 230 cm, lenght 748 cm, width 67 cm

Provenance: Mantova Benavides Collection, Padua; Vallisneri Collection, Padua

University of Padua, Museum of Archaeological Sciences and Art

Cat. Number: MB149


  • Alberici Clelia, Il mobile veneto, Milano, Electa, 1980, p.76.
  • Tosi Giovanna, La scanzia rinascimentale, in Marco Mantova Benavides il suo museo e la cultura padovana del Cinquecento, atti della giornata di studio nel IV centenario della morte, 1582-1982 (Padova, 12 novembre 1983), Padova, Accademia Patavina di Scienze Lettere ed Arti, 1984, pp. 209-218.
  • Menegazzi Alessandra, Giacometti Roberto,La scanzia rinascimentale al museo: il restauro, in Un Museo di Antichità nella Padova del Cinquecento. La raccolta di Marco Mantova Benavides all'Università di Padova, a cura di Irene Favaretto, Alessandra Menegazzi, Roma, Giorgio Bretschneider, 2013, pp.183-185.