Elizabeth Kathleen Mitchell, Ph.D., Burton and Deedee McMurtry Curator and Director of the Curatorial Fellowship Program, Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University: The collector’s cabinet, a domestic room designated for the storage and display of a private art collection, was the forerunner to today’s museum. Art historians have suggested Pierre-Philippe Choffard’s little print depicts either the personal cabinet or the commercial gallery of Henri-Louis Basan, who was best known for retouching and then printing his father’s collection of Rembradt’s etched copper plates. The frontispiece for the book by Edmé-François Gersaint, who was one of the most important Parisian art dealers of the 18th century, depicts an idealized cabinet with men examining and discussing prints and paintings.
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