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Gabriel Argy-Rousseau Pâte de Verre "Etoile" Night Light

Known as the "Etoile" or "Star" lamp, this dome shaped pâte de verre glass nightlight by Gabriel Argy-Rousseau depicts not a literal celestial orb but rather a star of the stage. A rose colored silhouette of a female form is caught mid-dance, adorned in a multicolored tutu and captured against an inky purple backdrop. The scalloped edge of the composition suggests the drapery of stage curtains, and the dancer appears to be illuminated on her stage by three spotlight that reach toward her from beyond the frame. Similar but distinct, the lamp features two near-identical scenes of the ballerina on opposing sides. In one instance the dancer is pictured with one arm extended and the other at her side, while on the opposite side her left hand is similarly extended skyward while her right wraps around her body, suggesting a moment of more vigorous motion.

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  • Curator's Notes

Item #: YEL-21235
Artist: Gabriel Argy-Rousseau
Country: France
Circa: 1928
Dimensions: 5.5" height, 4.5" diameter.
Materials: Pâte de verre, translucent glass, Wrought Iron
Signed: impressed “G. Argy-Rousseau” and “France”
Literature: Nightlight pictured in G. Argy-Rousseau: Glassware as Art by Janine Bloch-Dermant, page 128 (top), page 217, (plate 28.07)

The depiction of the spotlights in this composition is both unusual and clever; considering that the entire piece is a form of lamp, a work that is meant to be lit and constructed so as to manipulate light, the visual depiction of light in the form of these stage lights is a delightful redundancy to consider.