Set of four wall lights

Object Details

Title:

Set of four wall lights

Artist/Maker:

Model by Claude-Jean Pitoin (French, active about 1777 - 1784, master 1778)
casting and chasing attributed to Louis-Gabriel Féloix (French, 1729 - 1812, master 1754)

Culture:

French

Place:

Paris, France (Place created)

Date:

1781

Medium:

Gilt bronze

Object Number:

99.DF.20

Dimensions:

55.9 × 25.4 × 11.4 cm (22 × 10 × 4 1/2 in.)

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These finely chased wall lights represent the bounty of the harvest season. The central shaft symbolizes the thyrsus, or rod, of Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, a traditional symbol of abundance. The branches of the light form cornucopias overflowing with fruit, flowers, and leaves. Claude-Jean Pitoin made this set of four wall lights to illuminate the small private room that Marie-Antoinette used as a retreat at the palace of Versailles. As with all the objects made for the French queen, the set of small wall lights are of the highest quality. The chasing and the gilding of this light is jewel-like in its remarkable finish, proof of the care that went into its production.

Provenance
1781 - 1792

French Crown, Garde-Meuble de la Couronne, supplied on May 25, 1781 by the marchand-ciseleur-fondeur Claude-Jean Pitoin for use by Marie-Antoinette, nationalized by the revolutionary government in 1792.

1792 - after 1793

French government, Convention Nationale, Garde-Meuble National, probably sold during the state-sponsored sales of former royal property, beginning in 1793.

- 1970

Private Collection [sold, Rare ensemble, d'Objets d'Art et de Bel Ameublement, Palais de Congrès, Versailles, May 14, 1970, lot 110.]

- 1987

Knud Abildgaard, 1901 - 1986 [sold, Fabrikejer Knud Abildgaards Kunstsamlinger, Arne Bruun Rasmuseen, Copenhagen, April 12, 1987, lot 28/53a.]

- 1999

Martin and Pauline Alexander [sold, Christie's, New York, April 30, 1999, lot 15, to the J. Paul Getty Museum]

Bibliography

"Donnera-t-on enfin à Versailles les moyens d'assumer son histoire prestigieuse?" L'Estampille/L'Objet d'Art, no. 337 (June 1999), p. 17.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 88, no. 176.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 230, ill.

Wilson, Gillian. "Versailles au J. Paul Getty Museum." Versalia, Revue de la Société des Amis de Versailles 5 (2002), pp. 102-04, figs. 20-21.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), pp. 258-59, ill.

Hans, Pierre-Xavier. "Créer des intérieurs raffinés plus que collectionneur." In Marie-Antoinette, exh. cat. Arizzoli-Clémentel, Pierre., and Xavier Salmon, eds. (Paris: Éditions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 2008), p. 154.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 8th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2015), p. 304, ill.

Delalex, Hélène, et al. Marie-Antoinette (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2016), pp. 2, 7, ill.

Related Media
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    Audio: Set of Four Wall Lights (Feloix)