Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Pair of wall lights, ca. 1761
    French; Sèvres
    Soft–paste porcelain; H. 17 in. (43.2 cm), W. 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm)
    Gift of Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1958 (58.75.65,.66)

    In the 1760s, the Sèvres factory was not only introducing new shapes, but also experimenting with the use of porcelain in different and unprecedented ways. One of the more inventive applications is evident in the design of these wall lights, a type of object typically made in either gilt bronze or wood rather than porcelain.

    Due to the complexity of the molding process needed to create each wall light, very few examples were produced by the factory. Of the approximately twenty pairs of wall lights sold by the factory in the 1760s, the king acquired at least ten and Madame de Pompadour purchased two. One pair, now in the Louvre, was decorated in pink, green, dark blue, and gold; the other pair was green and gold. It is likely that the pair now at the Museum can be identified with the second pair acquired by the royal mistress, which she kept in her château of Menars.

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  • Pair of wall lights, ca. 1761
    French; Sèvres
    Soft-paste porcelain; H. 17 in. (43.2 cm), W. 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm)
    Gift of Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1958 (58.75.65,.66)

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