Torchere (one of a pair)

DATE:
mid-18th century
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Gilt, wood
CLASSIFICATION:
Lighting Devices
DIMENSIONS:
(with candle): 82 × 27 1/2 × 27 1/2 in. (2 m 8.28 cm × 69.85 cm × 69.85 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Decorative Arts and Design
LOCATION:
Wendy and Emery Reves Collection - Entry, Level 3
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
COPYRIGHT:
Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art
OBJECT NUMBER:
1985.R.619

General Description

Torchères were popular because they could easily be moved to wherever light was needed. They typically either had flat tops to support candelabra or sockets into which candles were placed. Originally, the Reves examples terminated in a single large socket. The combination of a triangular base, turned central shaft, and circular top developed in Italy during the 16th and 17th centuries. This Iberian example is heavily influenced by Italian prototypes. However, the exuberant scrollwork and the garlands of flowers point to a mid-18th-century date, when the rococo style dominated European design. Furthermore, the radiant heart on the base indicates that this example and its mate were made for an ecclesiastical setting. Torchères were often used to flank altars in churches and private chapels.

Adapted from

Dallas Museum of Art. Decorative Arts Highlights from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection. (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1995), 45.