The Balthus Lamp by Astier de Villatte

We celebrate the gorgeous French lamp and its elegant heritage...

Originally designed for the Villa Médicis, Polish-French artist Balthus created this Art-Nouveau inspired floor lamp shortly after becoming the director of the French Academy in Rome in 1964. It's shape is inspired by the ancient lights that Balthus had found in the hotel, adapting it to modern needs.

Now made in Paris, at the Astier de Villatte atelier, The Balthus Floor Lamp lives on...

Jean Clair, in his catalogue of Balthus’ work, describes its origins:

"After several attempts, he eventually produced a unique lamp that drew its inspiration from two ancient forms of light-fitting that were already in the palace: one; an old candelabrum in solid iron, the other a remarkably tall monumental nineteenth-century candlestick with a twisted base. For the main structure of his lamp, Balthus used rusty old water tubing, one end of which was fitted with light wood, in part hidden by the shade then added. This glimpse of wood gives the impression of a shaded candle, a subtle allusion to the models on which he based his design."

Since then, the elegant silhouette and soft light of the Balthus lamp has illuminated all the rooms of the Villa Médicis, the château in Montecalvello and then the Grand Chalet of Rossinière.

Photograph by Greta van der Star.

In partnership and direct collaboration with Balthus' daughter Harumi Klossowska de Rola, Astier de Villatte now presents this mythical lamp for the first time thanks to designer Fabrizio Casiraghi, who has positioned the lamp in his own living room, as seen in Elle Decor, and at the renowned Hotel La Ponche in Saint-Tropez.

Each lamp comes numbered and signed (Balthus and Astier de Villatte monograms), is structured in rusted iron, forged in Italy, and the lampshade is made in resin-parchment, made in Paris. We are proud to offer Astier de Villatte exclusively throughout New Zealand.

The Balthus Floor Lamp in the guest room at Hotel La Ponche.
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