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‘Deux Femmes Debout - porte-lumières, Style Renaissance’ - A Large Pair of Gilt and Patinated Bronze Figural Torchères

FRANCE, Circa 1870

REF No. B72021

Signed ‘FALGUIERE’ and ‘P. DUBOIS’ respectively and inscribed ‘F. BARBEDIENNE. FONDEUR’.


Height :261 cm | 102³/₄ in
Width :50 cm | 19⁵/₈ in
Depth :65 cm | 25⁵/₈ in


‘Deux Femmes Debout - porte-lumières, Style Renaissance’ A Large Pair of Gilt and Patinated Bronze Figural Torchères, Cast by Ferdinand Barbedienne, Paris, From the Models by Alexandre Falguière and Paul Dubois.

Signed ‘FALGUIERE’ and ‘P. DUBOIS’ respectively and inscribed ‘F. BARBEDIENNE. FONDEUR’.

Barbedienne illustrates a drawing of this pair of torcheres on page 63 of his 1886 catalogue ‘Bronzes D’ Art’. He lists them under the heading ‘Deux Femmes Debout’ and describes them as ‘Porte-Lumières, style Renaissance’ also indicating that they were modelled by Paul Dubois and Falguière.

This model of candelabra was exhibited by Barbedienne at the 1867  Exposition Universelle and subsequently installed at the Château de Compiègne as part of the refurbishment undertaken by Napoléon III and Empress Eugénie.

France, Circa 1870.

Paul Dubois
Paul Dubois (1827-1905) entered L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1858.  He exhibited at the 1865 Salon the Chanteur Florentin, inspired by his period of study in Italy and later exhibited this model at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867 (now preserved at the Musée d’Orsay).  His success brought him many important public and private commissions including a portrait for the Duc d’Aumale and a statue of Joan of Arc at Reims.   He was appointed curator at the Luxembourg Museum in 1873 and went on to become Director of the L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1878.   

Alexandre Falguière
Alexandre Falguière studied under Jouffroy at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, exhibiting for the first time at the salon in 1857. He won the Prix de Rome in 1859 and continued to find extraordinary success at the International Exhibitions of the period including the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867 where he won a first class medal.  He was awarded the Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur in 1870.   As well as private commissions he undertook a number of important commissions for the French state.  In 1878 he was asked by the state to realise the Triomphe de la République, placed in 1881 at the summit of the Arc de Triomphe (taken down in 1886).   His most important international work was the Lafayette monument in Washington D.C.

France, Circa 1870.

Kjellberg, Pierre.  Les Bronzes du XIX siècle, Dictionnaire des Sculpteurs, Les Editions de l'Amateur, (Paris); pps.653-658.

Cooper, Jeremy. 19th Century Romantic Bronzes, pps. 25,41,149

Height of Pedestal:  67 cm
Height of Figures: 194 cm
Total Height:  261 cm



Ferdinand Barbedienne (1810-1892) was the inspiration and driving force behind one of the most important French art foundries. He pioneered the use of mounts and, more commonly, bronze sculpture including figures and animals. Barbedienne produced catalogues of bronze reproductions of Greek and Roman classical sculpture and experimented with champlève and cloisonné enamels during the third quarter of the century. Barbedienne exhibited several pieces of furniture at the 1855 Paris Exhibition including an ormolu mounted oak dressing table and an ormolu mounted ebony veneered bookcase. Both pieces were executed in his favoured Renaissance revival style for furniture. Furniture with mounts signed by Barbedienne is extremely rare.

The Barbedienne foundry handled the casting of numerous national monuments and architectural schemes. Ferdinand Barbedienne himself also took an active part in the promotion of contemporary sculpture and became one of the founders for Davis d'Angers' medallions as well as much of Rude's sculpture.

His signature varied from hand written capitals to stamp in capitals, usually F. Barbedienne, Fondeur or BARBEDIENNE PARIS.
In 1839 Barbedienne collaborated with the inventor Achille Collas who had succeeded in enlarging and reducing works of art to arbitrary sizes by a simple mathematical calculation, allowing the accurate reduction of classical and contemporary marbles for the purpose of reproduction in bronze. In 1850 Barbedienne was commissioned to furnish the Paris town hall for which he was awarded with the 'medaille d' honneur' at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1855.

Barbedienne's awards:
Paris, 1878; 'Grand Prix', 'Grande Médaille d'Or', 'Diplôme d'honneur' , and 28 'Médailles de Coopérateurs'.
Vienna 1873; 2 'Diplômes d'Honneur', 'Médailles de Progrès', and 25 'Médailles de Coopérateurs'.
Paris 1867: 'Jure Rapporteur (Hors Concours)'.
London 1862; 3 Medals for Excellence.
Paris 1855; 'Grande Médaille d'Honneur'.
London 1851; 2 Council Medals.

Makers Bibliography:
Barbedienne, Ferdinand, Catalogue des Bronzes d'art 1886 , Fonderie d'art Français: Val d'Osne, Fonderie de Tusey, Antoine-Louis Barye, Fonderie Rudier, Charles Crozatier, Ferdinand Barbedienne, Livres Groupe, (Paris) 2010
Mestdagh, Camille and Pierre Lecoules, L'Ameublement d'art français: 1850-1900, Editions de l'Amateur (Paris), 2010, pp.23, 120, 155, 161 and 179.

Kjellberg, Pierre, Les Bronzes du XIX Siècle, dictionnaire des sculpteurs, Editions de l'Amateur (Paris) 1987, pps.653-658.
Meyer, Jonathan, Great Exhibitions: London, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, 1851-1900, Antique Collector's Club (Woodbridge, UK), 2006.

Ledoux-Lebard, Denise, Les Ebénistes du XIX Siècle, Editions de l'Amateur, (Paris) 1984, p.38.
Cooper, Jeremy, 19th Century Romantic Bronzes, New York Graphic Society, 1975 pps. 25, 41,149.


Pierre Kjellberg, 'Les Bronzes du XIX Siècle, dictionnaire des sculpteurs', pps.653-658.
Jeremy Cooper, '19th Century Romantic Bronzes', pps. 25,41,149

Ferdinand Barbedienne

‘Deux Femmes Debout - porte-lumières, Style Renaissance’ - A Large Pair of Gilt and Patinated Bronze Figural Torchères

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