Pair of Wall Lights

Object Details

Title:

Pair of Wall Lights

Artist/Maker(s):

Unknown

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1700

Medium:

Gilt bronze

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The figures of Flora and Zephyr, two characters from classical mythology, form the bodies of these gilt bronze wall lights. Flora, the goddess of flowers, is wrapped in a cloak that billows behind her; while Zephyr, the god of the west wind, is shown with wings attached to his shoulders. Each god turns to face the other while raising twisting branches that each terminate in a candle holder and drip pan. Their bodies rise out of shafts wrapped with garlands of flowers, and curling acanthus leaves form the base of the lights.

Wall lights and chandeliers were the main sources of illumination at night in elegant interiors. Elaborate fixtures such as these would have hung in a small room on either side of a mirror so that the flames of the candles were reflected in the mirror glass, thereby increasing the amount of light.

Related Works
Bibliography

"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), p. 242, no. 191.

Bremer-David, Charissa et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), p. 100, no. 162.

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. 82, no. 163.

Wilson, Gillian, et al. French Furniture and Gilt Bronzes: Baroque and Régence, Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008) pp. 310-17, no. 36.

Droth, Martina, and Penelope Curtis, eds. Taking Shape: Finding Sculpture in the Decorative Arts, exh. cat. (Leeds, Henry Moore Foundation; Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009), pp. 74-75, no. 18 (only .1), pp. 7, 178.