Lamp with a nymph
This lamp, the result of exemplary collaboration between Egide Rombaux and François Hoosemans, is internationally renowned as a masterpiece of Belgian Art Nouveau. It is one of the rare examples we have received of Belgium’s contribution to the Exposition Universelle de Paris held in 1900. It was the distinguished jeweller François Hoosemans who was chosen to represent Belgium in the Decorative Arts’ section of the exhibition and he decided to work with Egide Rombaux for this important occasion 1).
They made a series of candlesticks and electric lamps for the event in silver and ivory. These works are extremely rare and no Belgian museum possessed such a lamp prior to The King Baudouin Foundation receiving this one. A young nymph in ivory is supported by silver plant-like interlacing. The ivory sculpture is the work of Egide Rombaux, whilst the silver support is by François Hoosemans 2).
The extremities of the fine stems of the silver support are in the shape of flower buds, providing the sockets for the light bulbs. The work was presented some years after its creation to the Liege industrialist and Minister of State Paul Van Hoegaerden and it remained in his family for long. The lamp has now been entrusted to the Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire 3).
Photo and video by Michel Ballieu.