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.