Skip to main content

Italian, Florentine, Cassone with a Tournament Scene

Key facts
Full title Cassone with a Tournament Scene
Artist Italian, Florentine
Date made probably about 1455-65
Medium and support Carved and gilded wood
Dimensions 38.1 × 130.2 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Sir Henry Bernhard Samuelson, Bt, in memory of his father, 1937
Inventory number NG4906
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Cassone with a Tournament Scene
Italian, Florentine

Painted chests like this are called cassone (literally ‘a large chest’). They were made to celebrate a marriage and were often used to store a new bride’s dresses and linens. Cassone were in such high demand in Florence that painters like Apollonio di Giovanni had workshops specialising in their decoration.

They were usually placed in the camera, a room with beds that was also a social space. Such a setting invited fashionable subjects, including poetry, ancient history and contemporary civic events, valued by the educated elite who could afford such items. This one shows a jousting tournament: two rows of opposing jousters, separated by wooden arches, aim to push each other off their horses with lances. The rich and busy setting allowed the painter to include lots of detail in the costumes as well as gold leaf in the horses' harnesses.

This chest was substantially altered and restored in the nineteenth century to transform it into a more elaborate structure.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo