Hans Ottomeyer and Peter Pröschel, “Vergoldete Bronzen”, 1986, p. 357, pl. 5.10.8, illustrating a comparable three-light wall-light with similar swan-shaped branches by Claude Galle (1759-1815) of 1809 in the Grand Trianon, Versailles.
A fine pair of Empire gilt bronze figural three-light wall-lights attributed to Claude Galle, each with the backplate headed and terminated by anthemion issuing a swan holding in its beak a central gilt bronze banded and crystal glass circlet mounted with three smaller swan-shaped branches each holding in their beaks drip-pans below vase-shaped nozzles
Paris, date circa 1810
Height 50 cm, width 38 cm. each.
The strict and severe lines of Empire design were often embellished with symbolic decorations, such as Napoleon’s ‘N’, bees, laurel wreaths, winged Victories, eagles and swans. The swan was a favourite motif of the Emperor’s first wife, Joséphine; after their divorce she refurbished some of the rooms at Malmaison, including her bedroom which featured a gilded bed with cornucopiae at the foot and swans at its feet. The swan also appears in art of all ages, sometimes as an associated attribute of Apollo and also because of its beauty as an attribute of Venus