Style Japonism, Chinoiserie / Ref.17256
"The Dragons", Rare pair of gilt-bronze wall sconces in the Japanese taste
Width: 26'' ⅜ 67cm
Height: 22'' 56cm
France, circa 1875
A dragon in the Chinese style gracefully wraps his slender body around a branch of stylized branches. The inspiration for these sconces comes from the Orient, more specifically China, and they express the taste for Oriental art in vogue at the end of the 19th century. This was the result of the opening of Asia to the West, through their participation in international exhibitions, as well as the collections that were formed by wealthy and enlightened art collectors, such as Henri Cernuschi or the Empress Eugénie who installed a Chinese Museum at Fontainebleau. These contacts meant there was a new decorative repertory, greatly appreciated, that the designers of the 19th century could draw upon when creating elegant new objects for their clientele.
The stylized cloud motif around the dragon and the head of the monster are also characteristic of this same source of inspiration, which encouraged decoration that was both elegant and sophisticated, and was emblematic of a refined lifestyle. Such works integrated perfectly in the distinguished interiors of connoisseurs and lovers of Asian art of the period.
This pair of wall sconces, formerly attributed to Édouard Lièvre, took its inspiration from the work of the greatest designers of the period, such as Reiber or Viardot.
The high quality of the chasing of the bronze and the finesse of the fabrication show that these sconces are the work of a true bronze artist who was smitten by this Far-Eastern taste and created an important work of art destined to decorate the most luxurious interiors of the period.
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