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Baroque Torchere-bearing Putti

Barocke Leuchterengel


Austria/South Germany, second half of the 18th century
carved, polychrome-mounted and gilt lime wood
19½ and 20 in

Since the late Gothic period, torchere-bearing angel figures have been a part of church interiors. Depicted as young winged men in the Middle Ages, they were usually dressed as altar boys or deacons. With the rise of the Baroque period, angel candelabra were increasingly represented as putti (Italian for „little boys“). The motif of the putto originated in the Renaissance and has its roots in the cupids and boyish god figures of antiquity. North of the Alps, the childlike assistant figures became widespread mainly through the engravings of Albrecht Dürer.
The present pair of sculptures consists of two little angels, which are conceived as counterparts. The wings and sweeping draped loincloths are leaf-gilt, as are the elegant candlesticks with rocaille handles. The expressive faces and intense gestures mark these baroque torchere-bearing angels as buoyant messengers of heaven and joyful bringers of light.

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