Written by Jocelyn Boigenzahn, Curatorial Intern
This beautifully gilded pair of Louis XVI ormolu figural candelabra were cast after a model made by Falconet. Each displays a standing nude figure accompanied by putti and supporting a cornucopia filled with fruit and flowers and fitted with five candle holders on white marble bases with ormolu mounts and beaded moldings.
Falconet was counted among the first rank of French Rococo sculptors, patronized by Madame de Pompadour. He came to prominent public attention in the Salons of 1755 and 1757 with his marbles of L’Amour and the Nymphe descendant au bain (also called “The Bather”), which are at the Louvre.
The influence of the painter François Boucher and of contemporary theater and ballet are equally in evident in Falconet’s subjects, in his sweet, elegantly erotic, somewhat coy manner of displaying the female nude, as an example of beauty and opulence.