Pair of two-light wall brackets


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 547

Gilt bronze was extensively used for different types of lighting ranging from standing candlesticks and candelabra to hanging chandeliers and lanterns. Wall lights (bras de lumiere), were often placed on either side of mirrors to reflect the candlelight.

Suspended from a gilt-bronze ribbon tied in a bow knot, an intertwined snake holds a garland of leaves supporting a lyre-shaped backplate, while a pan flute, tambourine and thyrsus are suspended on a ribbon below a satyr mask. The decoration clearly alludes to Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and revelry: thus music is combined with merry-making. The two arms are shaped as cornucopias with scrolls and garlands of vine leaves and grapes, their candle dishes piled with fruit.

Pair of two-light wall brackets, Gilt bronze, French

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