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8 Alabaster Chambers

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Chapter Summary

Alabaster featured in early modern interiors not only in the form of individual sculptural works as statuettes or reliefs. In the descriptions of rulers' or noble residences and even burgher houses one comes across 'alabaster chambers', whose walls were clad in carved alabaster slabs, sometimes carved and supplemented by alabaster statuary. Representatives of princely families in Northern Europe also created alabaster chambers in their residences in emulation of the court in Ferrara. Philipp, Landgrave of Hesse's alabaster chamber was on the second floor of his castle residence, which was destroyed in 1811, and its walls were clad in reliefs forming longitudinal friezes over a metre high and up to 330 cms in length. It is kept in the Hessisches Landeshauptmuseum in Kassel, they depict scenes from the Book of Genesis, the life of Christ, the Last Judgment, and the parable of the rich man and poor.

Keywords: alabaster chambers; Ferrara; Hessisches Landeshauptmuseum; northern Europe



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