Measuring over 3 feet in height, this opulent and monumentally-sized pair of seven-light, silver-over-bronze sconces was designed by the noted French sculptor Gustave Joseph Chéret. In these extraordinarily detailed fixtures, jubilant putti brandish electric torches, exhibiting Chéret's eye for detail, symmetry and décor. Massive lighting fixtures of such outstanding design would have been made only by special commission for a patron of great wealth. To find an original pair, crafted of luxurious silvered bronze, is undeniably rare. Signed "Joseph Cheret."
36 3/4" high
Chéret was the younger brother of French painter and Art Nouveau lithographer Jules Chéret, who came to be known as "the father of the modern poster." Born in 1838, the younger Chéret began his career in sculpture at age thirteen, studying under Vallois and renowned sculptor Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse. He made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1863, receiving honorable mentions in 1883 and 1886. Between 1864 and 1870, his studio was frequented by none other than Auguste Rodin. Closely linked with Carrier-Belleuse as both a student and eventually as a son-in-law, Chéret succeeded his teacher as Director of Works of Art for the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres in 1887. He began exhibiting in the art object section of the Societé National des Beaux-Arts after 1891, and was appointed a member of that society in 1894. These beautiful sconces are a testament to his skillful craftsmanship.
Chéret was closely associated with the decorative arts. He designed numerous models for the Cristallerie de Baccarat, as well as a few architectural sculptures. A forerunner of the Art Nouveau movement, he produced decorations for interiors and created small sculptures, wall lamps, candlesticks and other objects, and notably designed one of the first models for the salamander stove. He is best known for his terracottas and porcelain vases, but also sculpted ceramics and figurines cast in bronze like these fantastic sconces. A large number of vases and terracotta objects by Chéret are housed in Musée des Arts Décoratifs. His works were posthumously exhibited at the famed Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
The Dictionary of Sculptors in Bronze, 1977, J. Mackay
Dictionaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs, 1976, E. Bénézit
Bronzes of the 19th Century, 1994, P. Kjellberg