• 09.02.14

Nobody Knows How All These Ikea Items Made It Into Pre-16th-Century Artwork

A sharp-eyed tumblr-er has taken to posting faux-Ikea website images featuring on-sale items spotted in pre-16th-century artwork. Get lost in them.

Ikea has everything. Its vast compounds of towering home goods stretch out far enough to intimidate nature’s most wide-open spaces. Although Ikea has doubtless become a staple of modern day living, it also appears as though the brand has always lurked among us–furnishing our ancestors with moderately proved Swedish-quality decorations. Or at least that’s the theory Co.Create’s favorite new tumblr posits.


Ikea b4-XVI is a blog that examines classic pre-16th-century artwork by the likes of Hieronymus Bosch and his ilk, scouring for items that appear to have been purchased it Ikea. The paintings are then formatted to look like displays on Ikea’s own website, showing off the item for sale. Creator Cecilia Azcarate, who previously shined a tumblr spotlight on 16th-century-art-looking rappers, has a talent for spotting catalog pieces in the back- and sometimes foregrounds of paintings. If Ikea is smart, it will bring her in-house and spin this into an actual service for cash-strapped, fine art-leaning home decorators.

[h/t to Animal]

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.