This pair of finely chased gilt bronze wall lights are inspired by the new neoclassical style, which favoured motifs derived from classical antiquity. The backplates are shaped as torches and both wall lights are adorned with laurel swags. The bottom of the torch is decorated with interlace motifs and beads, acanthus leaves ending in a pinecone finial. The torch is crowned by a classical shape urn, decorated with laurel swags and topped with a flame.
The three slightly curved arms with foliate wrapped branches with acanthus leaves, bear the finely shaped nozzles. The latter are supported by drip-pans adorned with upright palmettes and acanthus leaves and a band of beading. The band of beading is en suite with the nozzles, highlighted by pearls.
Jean-Charles Delafosse (1734-1791) was the most important designer and decorator of the eighteenth century and was instrumental in the renaissance of bronze furnishings in France.
As a Parisian architect, ornamental designer and engraver, Delafosse played an important role in disseminating the 'goût antique'. Although he was apprenticed in 1747 to the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Poullet (d. 1775) he does not seem to have completed his apprenticeship. Rather he concentrated his energies toward becoming a designer and architect. To this effect by 1767 he styled himself 'architecte et professeur pour le dessin'. It was as an innovative and radical designer that Delafosse was his most influential. In 1768 he published the first volume of his most important work, the "Nouvelle Iconologie Historique", containing 110 plates, most of which Delafosse engraved himself. Included were designs for furniture, decorative objects and architectural ornament in the heavy, classicising Louis XVI style.
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