Topic: Winter Palace
On 3 April 2012, the chandelier at the Hermitage Theater was lowered for its annual cleaning and bulb-changing.
The Adolphe Morand Bronze Works were founded in Saint Petersburg in the mid-1850s under the auspices of the Electroplating House of Maximilian, Duke of Leuchtenberg, and continued to operate through 1917. The Works carried out numerous orders for the Imperial Palace, with their bronze creations frequently adorning the city’s grand ducal palaces.
In 1899-1900, Adolphe Morand fabricated chandeliers for the Jordan Staircase and the St. George, Coat-of-Arms and the Nicholas Halls of the Winter Palace. Yet, the Works’ first creation to receive widespread acclaim was the chandelier at the Hermitage Theater in 1889. With its intricate design and imposing proportions, the chandelier was originally intended to be equipped with electric bulbs, thereby making it possible to forego the single large-sized and twelve smaller oil-lamp chandeliers that had theretofore been used to illuminate the Theater.
The pear-shaped chandelier (such designs first became popular in the 1840s) is richly-ornamented and features Louis-XVI stylistic elements. The fixture’s multi-element bronze sconces, shaped like floral shoots, and opulent hoop designed to resemble acanthus leaves, were gilded using the electroplating method. The unique lighting effect is created by the manner in which the chandelier’s high-quality, possibly Bohemian, crystal plays in the light.
© State Hermitage Museum. 14 April, 2012