Furniture and home furnishings in the shape of lyres, like these wall lights, were prevalent in the late 1800s because of a renewed interest in ancient Greece and Rome. Artists and craftsmen saw images and objects from the excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum and created pieces based on them. They borrowed imagery and decorative elements from ancient pieces of pottery and wall paintings and translated them to modern metalwork, ceramics and glass, and furniture.

Several skilled craftsmen collaborated to produce these elaborate wall lights. The architect François-Joseph Bélanger produced the design from which a mold was then made. Next, an unknown bronze caster poured the bronze into the mold to create the overall form of the wall lights. Finally, Pierre Gouthière, one of the most skilled bronze workers of the late 1700s, gilded and delicately hammered the surface to make the fine details and finish the piece.


  • Title: Pair of Wall Lights
  • Creator: Pierre Gouthière, François-Joseph Bélanger
  • Date Created: about 1781
  • Location Created: Paris, France
  • Physical Dimensions: 52.1 × 27.8 × 17.8 cm (20 1/2 × 10 15/16 × 7 in.)
  • Type: Wall light
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Gilt bronze
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 74.DF.5
  • Culture: French
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Pierre Gouthière (French, 1732 - 1813/1814, master 1758) After a design by François-Joseph Bélanger (French, 1744 - 1818)
  • Classification: Decorative Art (Art Genre)

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