Florentine Cabinet

Italian cabinet

Dublin Core

Title

Florentine Cabinet

Subject

[no text]

Description

This piece seems to appear or be noted in the text after Dorian's corruption and the portrait changes and his"corrupted" figure/lifestyle emerges. After murdering Basil, Dorian burns his body in the library and turns to the cabinet for comfort. This is where he keeps his opium container, inside a hidden "triangular drawer" (Wilde 174). The secrecy of the cabinet calls to mind the "secret psychological life" that appear linked in wardrobes, desks, and chests in Bachelard's Poetics of Space (78). Dorian's cabinet is placed between the library's two windows, signifiers of the outside world, and is made of ebony, and "inlaid with ivory and blue lapis" (Wilde 174) indicating an Oriental style despite its Italian background. The piece has the ability, in Dorian's eyes, to "fascinate and make afraid" (Wilde 174).
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Though the Victoria and Albert Museum did not have the original cabinet itself on display (from Gore House in London), this photograph taken in 1853 by Charles Thurston Thompson depicts an Italian cabinet with "pietra dura" (Italian cabinet in pietra). The cabinet has elaborate designs carved in wood with metal details, in tiny pictures of what appear to be landscape scenes. The photograph contains some text, describing a "Cabinet or coffer, in pietra dura. Italian, date about 1650." According to Britannica.com, pietra dura or "hard stone" in Italian, is a type of mosiac art that "flourished in the late 16th and 17th centuries," using cut shapes of colored stone that was favored in creating tables and small wall panels.

Creator

Oscar Wilde
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Charles Thurston Thompson

Source

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Victoria and Albert Museum

Publisher

Penguin Books
Victoria and Albert Museum

Date

Wilde's text/ 1891
Penguin/2000
1853 (photograph)/ ca. 1650 (cabinet)

Contributor

Hannah Phillips

Rights

[no text]

Relation

[no text]

Format

[no text]

Language

English

Type

Text

Identifier

[no text]

Coverage

[no text]

Citation

Oscar Wilde --- Charles Thurston Thompson, “Florentine Cabinet,” Objects and Interiority in Dorian Gray, accessed May 21, 2018, http://doriangrayarchiveeng578.omeka.net/items/show/9.

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