D. Di Castro, Il Palazzo Pallavicini Rospigliosi, Rome, 1999
A. González-Palacios, Arredi e ornamenti alla corte di Roma, Milan, 2004
G. Lizzani, Il mobile romano, Milan, 1970
The elegant and fluid lines of this chair are enhanced by naturalistically carved foliate trails. Its sophisticated asymmetry is fully rococo and, together with the variation between rocaille and plain surfaces, visible for instance on the seat frieze, bears witness to Carletti's mastery of the style and increased independence from Rome's powerful Baroque legacy.
Cardinal Flavio II Chigi (1711-1771) is known to have commissioned at least two sets of chairs for his suburban villa in 1768-70, when Carletti was paid for his services. In February 1768 he delivered eighteen chairs with "cartelle e folie e pelli e in molti lochi fattoci le sue scappatine di fronte frappate e tutte centinate", whilst the second delivery comprised six chairs similarly carved but "traforate" (pierced), of which one is now at Palazzo Doria-Pamphilij.
An identical fauteuil from the same suite is in a private aristocratic collection, and attributed to Carletti (fig. 1; cf. Lizzani, op. cit., p. 105); another, with carved and pierced frame, probably from the second batch of seat furniture, is illustrated in Palacios, op. cit., p. 204, as by Carletti. Finally, the attribution to Carletti is further supported by the resemblances between the exquisite carving found on the present fauteuil and that of the pair of banquettes offered here as lot 11.
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