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Austrian Museum of Applied Arts

The is one of two wall panels made in the David Roentgen workshops for Charles of Lorraine. This one is titled The Magnanimity of Scipio. It is dated 1779. The designer was Januarius Zick and the principle marqueteur was Michael Rummer. The truly remarkable thing about this work is its size. It is about twelve feet square. This makes the figures about four feet tall. No doubt when it was new the woods had more contrast. There were also parts where the wood was dyed (but they have now faded). Nevertheless the patinated wood is quite beautiful. Tones were carefully chosen, and still work more than two hundred years later. Note the subtle recession of the tents to the background.

David Roentgen was carrying on a family business. His father Abraham was a celebrated cabinetmaker. They worked in the German town of Neuwid. Roentgen’s work was sold to aristocrats throughout Europe.

This masterwork is housed at the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna.

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