One of the most famed dancers of Paris at the turn of the century was the Americanborn Loie Fuller (1862–1928), who began performing at the Folies Bergere in 1892. For her special choreography, such as the famous serpentine dance, she used various accessories including thin veils affixed to a long stick. Her dance theatre operated at the location and for the duration of the 1900 Paris World’s Fair. Her dance was preserved by one of the inventions of the period, motion picture, and her dynamic figure became the emblem of Rolls Royce cars. She inspired most artists of her period, and she appears on several artworks of the age. Parisian sculptor Raoul Francois Larche (1860–1912), a gold medal winner of the 1900 World’s Fair, made several small sculptures in addition to public statues, including models for the porcelain manufactory of Sevres. The figure of Loie Fuller often appears in his work, in particular in his bronze table lamps, which were multiplied in several versions by the Parisian foundry-house Siot-Decauville. The lamp in the Museum of Applied Arts depicts the smiling dancer with long, flowing hair, in the middle of a twirl, with arms outstretched and a light veil above her head. Folds of the veil provide room for two light sockets. (Light coming from various directions and of different colours played an important role in the choreography of Fuller). This is perhaps the most popular model used by the sculptors and several examples are known. Similar pieces can be found in several public and private collections, for example at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich.


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