Italian (probably Milan)
about 1780
Design attributed to Giuseppe Levati (Italian, 1739–1828)

Object Place: Italy


Overall: 93.4 x 55.9 x 50.8 cm (36 3/4 x 22 x 20 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Walnut and beech, decorated with paint and translucent glazes over silver leaf, caning

On View

Angelica Lloyd Russell Gallery (Gallery 142)




Seating and beds

From a suite of chinoiserie-style furniture probably designed by the architect and decorative painter Giuseppe Levati for one of the chinoiserie rooms at the Villa Silva, near Milan.

This pair of armchairs belongs to a suite of furniture made for a Chinese-style drawing room in the Villa Silva, near Milan. Giuseppe Levati, a Milanese architect and decorative painter, probably designed the interiors and furnishings for the country house. Chinoiserie (a fanciful Chinese style) enjoyed a wave of popularity in Milanese interiors in the 1770s and 1780s, resulting in some of the most whimsical furniture of the eighteenth century. The painted decoration on these chairs was originally more vivid; the lime green, cherry red, and bright orange used in the 18th century were later painted over to reflect current taste.


"G.R. 681" painted in black on inside seat rail.


By 1961, Charles J. White [see note 1]; 1961, Gift of Dr. Charles J. White to the MFA.

[1] Probably part of a suite of furniture commissioned by Maecenas Ercole Silva in 1780 for his villa at Cinisello Balsamo, near Milan.

Credit Line

Gift of Dr. Charles J. White