Unknownlate 6th century B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

An Ionic capital tops a fluted shaft on this Greek candelabrum or lampstand. Only a portion of the original candelabrum is preserved. The capital would originally have supported a sculpted figure and a further shaft before ending in a plate that would have supported an oil-burning lamp. As it survives, the most ornate part of this candelabrum is the elaborate tripod base supporting the shaft. Three lion's paws resting on spools form the feet of the tripod and floral motifs of palmettes, tendrils and leaves decorate the area where the legs meet.

In the late 500s B.C., artisans in the Greek colonies in south Italy appear to have begun creating lampstands of this sort. The lampstands show a marked similarity to Etruscan candelabra and the South Italian artists may have been influenced by these Etruscan objects. At this time, a bronze lampstand such as this one would have been a very luxurious household furnishing, even in wealthy South Italy.

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  • Title: Candelabrum
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: late 6th century B.C.
  • Location Created: Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: 120 x 27.9 cm (47 1/4 x 11 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Bronze
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Object Type: Candlestick
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 83.AC.9
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Villa, Gallery 101F, Bronze Vessels
  • Department: Antiquities
  • Culture: Greek
  • Classification: Implements