Stipo ( cabinet- known as Stipo Passalacqua)


Sforzesco Castle

Sforzesco Castle
Milan, Italy

The stipo (cabinet) was a piece of furniture
common in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, located in the studies of
scholarly nobles to contain wondrous, stupendous objects. It had many drawers
of varying sizes, perfect for storing different objects, divided by type. The Passalacqua stipo is a bureau commissioned by
Quintino Lucini Passalacqua in 1613. The cabinet was intended as a moral
compendium and summa of the universe
composed "of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture". The bureau has two parts:
the lower one has two walnut doors enclosing a cupboard and is decorated at the
corners with six caryatids.
The upper part of the piece has a drop-down surface that was used as a desk.
This upper part has a complex architectural prospect divided in two orders,
Tuscan and Ionic, with niches and a balustrade along the top. Inside the niches
are ivory statues, allegories of the five senses, by French sculptor Berthelot.
Underneath each statue, on the drawers, are tiny paintings on copper of
biblical scenes, by Pier Francesco Mazucchelli, known as Il Morazzone. The central niche on
the lower level houses a small bronze sculptural group depicting the effects
produced when reason is swept along by the senses, represented by five animals. On the front of this niche can be discerned the
Passalacqua coat-of-arms


  • Title: Stipo ( cabinet- known as Stipo Passalacqua)
  • Creator: Anonymous Italian. Lombard workshop
  • Date Created: 1613
  • Location: Museo dei Mobili e delle Sculture lignee, Castello Sforzesco, Milan, Italy
  • Location Created: Milan workshop, Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 207 x 154,5 x 81,5 cm.
  • Provenance: Gift by G.B. Lucini Passalacqua, 1885
  • Transcript: On the architrave of the central door near to the bronze coloured group we read: - ""QUINTILIUS LUCINUS PASSALAQUIUS I. V. D. ET ECCLESIAE / CATH.COMI CAN. / HOC OPUS PROPRIS INGEGNIO ET SUMPTIBUS FIERI / CURAVIT. / ANNO M. DC. XIII."
  • Type: Piece of Furniture
  • Rights: Comune di Milano - Civiche Raccolte Artistiche, Castello Sforzesco, Milano
  • External Link: https://museodeimobili.milanocastello.it/
  • Medium: Walnut wood, walnut-root, red sandalwood, ebony, rattan, ivory, golden bronze, silver, rock crystals, jaspers, ruby, sapphire, emerald, copper
  • Art Form: Inlay, carving, fusion with oil painting on copper, setting
  • Original title: Stipo (detto Stipo Passalacqua)
  • Artist Nationality: Italian
  • Artist Death Place: Northern Italy
  • Artist Birth Place: Northern Italy

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