La Tentation (Temptation)
Maker and role
Artist: Edgar Brandt, French, 1880-1960
Manufacturer: Daum Frères, Nancy, France
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shade, diameter, 19in (48.3cm)
During the mid-1800s, paintings focusing on far-flung Eastern locales became popular, with snake charming as a common subject. By the late 1800s, when Art Nouveau emerged with its motifs from nature and curves stressing movement, the snake fit in perfectly. By the 1920s, when celebrated French metalworker Edgar Brandt designed this lamp, the life-size and realistic snake hovering in space - anchored only by the glass shade and the base - would have indeed charmed the French.
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