art with tosca
Cabinet of curiosities: treasures and oddities from princely collections


Cabinet of curiosities, also called Kunstkammer or cabinets of wonders, are a great source of information to understand the roots of collecting practices and the beginning of the art market.
Finding their origin during the Italian Renaissance, the Cabinets of curiosities ranged in size, from a small, dedicated piece of furniture to the size of an entire room.
You could find in these cabinets glamorous objects, often serving as tangible tokens reflecting the intelligence, erudition, wealth and taste of their owners. They were also notorious for containing strange and questionable artifacts such as the famous mermaids made from a monkey’s torso stitched with a fishtail.

This lecture explores not only the content of these cabinets but also the socioeconomic status they represented for their curators from the late 1500s to the 18th century.

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