Grotesques, Strapwork, Caryatids

In about 1580, further designs by de Vries – for ornamental motifs and for furniture – are published:Differents Pourtraicts de la Menuiserie a Scavoir Portaux, Banes, Escabelles, Tables, Buffets Licts de Camp Propres aux Menuisiers de I'invention de Jehan Vredeman diet de Vriese, mis en lumiere par Philippe Galle. The first of their kind to appear in the Lowland Countries, these designs are of immense importance, including where the influence of de Vries penetrates into Britain and Sweden. Differents Pourtraicts contains designs for buffets, bed­steads, chairs, benches, chests, tables, and even for towel-horses, in which strapwork, masks and caryatids replace the earlier grotesques, which become a major inspiration of the furniture makers of the Lowland Countries until well into the 17th century. (For more on de Vries and on the impact of pattern books, click here.)

To traditional furniture forms, joiners and carvers begin to apply between classical columns such decorative features as carvings of grotesques. Such work, definitely, cannot have been easy. For example, towards the middle of the century, two Lowland Countries designers, Cornelis Willem Bos (c1506/10 — 1555) and Cornelis Floris (1514-1575), combine into their pattern books designs of grotesques with a new type of ornamental strap-work. (For an example of strapwork, see image on right.)

Example of Strapwork
Examples of Acanthus Leaves
Example of Arcading
Examples of Renaissance Period Carving