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Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum South Pavilion, Gallery S109
Modeled in the form of three laurel branches tied with a ribbon, these massive wall lights with their detailed chasing and burnishing reveal the extraordinary skill of their maker, a silversmith to Louis XV, king of France. Each wall light is slightly different from the others.
These four wall lights are among eight made in 1756 for the newly redecorated interiors of the famous Parisian palace, the Palais-Royal, which was the residence of the king's cousin, Louis-Philippe, duc d'Orléans. Shortly after inheriting the building in 1752, he commissioned the architect Pierre Contant d'Ivry to renovate the main rooms. Engravings of these rooms, showing the wall lights in place, were reproduced in Diderot's Encyclopédie, one of the principal works of the Age of Enlightenment. An inscription on the Getty Museum's drawing for one of these wall lights explains that it should hang above the fireplace.