Four Wall Lights (Two pairs)

François-Thomas Germain, after a design by Pierre Contant d'Ivry1756

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

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.

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  • Title: Four Wall Lights (Two pairs)
  • Creator: François-Thomas Germain, after a design by Pierre Contant d'Ivry
  • Date: 1756
  • Location Created: Paris, France
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Gilt bronze
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Signature: Two wall lights engraved "FAIT PAR F.T.GERMAIN.SCULP.ORF.DU ROI AUX GALLERIES DU LOUVRE.1756" at lower right and left.
  • Object Type: Wall light
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 81.DF.96
  • Markings: Markings: Two lights stamped with Palais du Luxembourg inventory number "1051 LUX 1" and two with "1051 LUX2," the LUX mark first used during the Restoration of the Bourbon monarchy between 1815 and 1830. All punched with Château de Compiègne inventory marks "CP" under a crown and "N° 28", at lower rear. Various numbers stamped on bobèches and drip pans.
  • Department: Sculpture & Decorative Arts
  • Culture: French
  • Classification: Decorative Arts