One of a pair of large candelabra, this exemplifies the exquisite refinement and technical virtuosity of the neoclassical period in France. Borrowing heavily from ancient models, the designer combined female caryatids, flame finials, acanthus leaves, and classical ornament into highly finished sculptural masterpieces.
The candelabra closely resemble a set of four designed around 1775 by the prominent neoclassical architect and draftsman Charles-Louis Clérisseau for the salon of the Paris residence of the financier and collector Grimod de la Reynière. Architects in the eighteenth century frequently provided designs for interiors, especially the carved paneling, mantelpieces, furniture, and lighting; these, in turn, were created by specialized craftsmen in various guilds.
Artist Jean-Claude-Thomas Chambellan, Duplessis fils, French, 1730-1783
Designer Charles Louis Clérisseau, French, 1721-1820
  • Candelabrum
Date ca. 1775
Medium ormolu and gros bleu enameled bronze
Dimensions Overall: 58 1/2 × 27 3/4 × 25 1/8 inches (148.6 × 70.5 × 63.8 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Horace E. Dodge Memorial Fund
Accession Number 71.394
Department European Sculpture and Dec Arts
On View Fashionable Living: Kanzler Room S330, Level 3 (see map)
Inscriptions On a tan label: 29621/2, a Duveen Brothers inventory number
On a red label: 9T
On a green label: 9
On an orange label: 9/2
On the base: 5 or S16174
All labels are affixed underneath the base.
Russian Imperial Collection, Gatchina Palace (Gatchina, Russia);
Maria Feodorovna, Empress of Russia [1759-1798];
until ca. 1930, government of the Soviet Union (USSR);
(Duveen Brothers, dealer, New York, New York, USA);
1932, acquired by Anna Thomson Dodge [Mrs. Horace E. Dodge] (Grosse Pointe, Michigan, USA);
1971, sold at (Christie's, London, June 24, 1971, lot 30);
1971-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Le Brun, Jean-Baptiste-Pierre. Almanach des Artistes. Paris, 1777, pp. 84-86.

Sales cat., Paillet. Paris, August 21-September 7, 1797, lot 137.

Catalogue des objects d’art. Sales cat., Palais de San Donato. Florence, 1880, pp. 366-368, no. 1567 (ill.).

Réau, Louis. Étienne-Maurice Falconet, vol. 1. Paris, 1922, p. 253.

Réau, Louis. "Correspondance artistique de Grimm avec Catherine II.” L’art Francais Dan Les Pays du Nord et de l’Est de l’Europe (XVIIIe-XIXe siècles), Archives de l’art Francais 17 (1931-32): 1-206.

A Catalogue of Works of Art in the Collection of Anna Thomson Dodge. Detroit, 1933, unpaginated.

A Catalogue of Works of Art of the Eighteenth Century in the Collection of Anna Thomson Dodge, vol. 1. Detroit, 1939, unpaginated.

Courajod, Louis, ed. Livre-journal de Lazare Duvaux Marchand-Bijoutier Ordinaire du Roi 1748-1758, vol. 1. Paris, 1965, pp. ccii-cciii, ccci.

Sales cat., Christie's. London, June 24, 1971, lot 30.

Stillman, Damie. "Works of Art with a Royal Provenance from the Collection of the late Mrs. Anna Thompson Dodge.” Connoisseur (May 1971): 34-36, (ill.), esp. p. 35.

Cummings, Fred J. "Department of European Art." Bulletin of the DIA: Annual Report 51, no. 1 1971): 12-14, p. 13 (ill.).

"La chronique des arts." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 79 (Jan. 1972): 1-188, esp. p. 93, fig. 326.

Kalnein, Wend G., and Michael Levey. Art and Architecture of the Eighteenth Century in France. The Pelican History of Art. London, 1972, pp. 326- 327.

Eriksen, Svend. Early Neo-classicism in France. London, 1974, pp. 105, 174-175, 310-11, 355-56, pls. 82, 218.

100 Of The Finest Drawings From Polish Collections. Exh. cat., Heim Gallery. London, 1980, no. 44.

Voronikhina, A. N. Vidy Zalov Ermitazha I Zimnego Dvortsa V Akvareliakh I Risunkakh Khudozhnikov Serediny Xix Veda. Moscow, 1983, pl. II.

Ottomeyer, H., and Pröschel, P. Vergoldete Bronzen: Die Bronzearbeiten Des Spatbarock Und Klassizismus, vol. 1. Munich, 1986, pp. 256-57, no. 4.7.8 (ill.).

Verlet, Pierre. Les Bronzes Dorés Français Du Xviiie Siecle. Paris, 1987, pp. 203-205.

Dell, T. et al. The Dodge Collection of 18th Century French and English Art in the Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1996, pp. 134-38, color ill. p. 137 (entry by H. Hawley).

Zek, Iouna. "Bronzes d'ameublement et meubles français achetés par Paul Ier pour le château Saint-Michel de Saint-Pétersbourg en 1798-1799." Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire de l'Art français (1994): pp. 162-163.