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Although not exclusively devoted to Alsatian art, the Musée Unterlinden presents a representative sampling of furniture from the region. Aside from the large and luxurious armoires produced by Renaissance and 17th-century cabinetmakers, ornately painted furniture was favoured in rural Alsace. This technique was used to hide the structure made of pine or other lower quality wood. In Alsatian rural tradition, a painted armoire inscribed with the year and the monogram of the young bride formed part of the dowry offered in marriage. The ornamental repertoire was mainly restricted to flowers and geometric motifs.
The museum also holds a number of Alsatian chairs with legs of differing design, another feature that enjoyed a certain popularity in the region. The chair back served as a canvas for sculpted, and often exceedingly complex, interlacing.
Finally, with respect to painting, the museum’s collections explore the quasi-patriotic thread running through Alsatian art, a yearning for French Alsace following the defeat of 1870, with works by painters such as Pabst, Brion and Stosskopf.