Chandelier between Tradition and Contemporary

Chandeliers are probably the most popular and the oldest decorative objects, which have never lost their popularity over centuries. The traditions of using Chandelier is more than 800 years old, and in this span, the designs have evolved and blended to create more modern patterns according to the taste and budget of the present world.
With the progress in technology, even the chandeliers reflect the modern look and feel. Traditionally, chandeliers were associated royalty and aristocracy. Elaborate chandeliers graced the palaces of Kings and Monarchs and the of the bygone era. Between the fifteenth and the nineteenth century, the most elaborate and timeless pieces of chandeliers were created. Italian Lightning had always been highly sought after due to their beautiful designs. Made in Italy has created a brand in the international market.
Among the most prominent of the European, Chandeliers were:

  • Venetian Chandeliers
  • French Rock Crystal, and
  • English Glass

Though all three had separate origins, but they followed very similar trajectories.
But over a period, with an increase in the manufacturing costs, changing tastes of the newer generation and technological advancements, the chandeliers have rapidly changed themselves to find a place in the contemporary homes. On the one hand, where contemporary designs are more sustainable, the traditional chandeliers are still in demand, but more as a collector item then for lighting purpose.

Flemish Chandeliers

Were the first notable style which made a lasting impact on Dutch brass chandelier. Earlier chandeliers were made from wood or iron. The most distinctive feature of this chandelier was a large brass sphere, with a series of curving stems.

Rock Crystal Chandelier

Glass was not a preferred material for making chandeliers. Instead of metal, porcelain, etc., was preferred. As the production of chandeliers was a part of metal traditions, glass was substituted with transparent quartz known as rock crystal. In this style of chandeliers, the metal frame was decorated with drop patterns and pendants.

French Baroque

Following the Renaissance, the Baroque style found its birthplace in Florence. A vase-like pattern was made out of gilded bronze and decorated with rock crystals.
Venetian Chandeliers- Venetian chandeliers were separate from the other European designs. Murano glass history began in 1291 and shifted the manufacturers from Venice to the Murano Island. The glassmakers were banned from practicing outside of Murano, with the passing of strict laws. Venetian glass was not cut like rock crystal but was melted and molded to create intricate patterns. The distinctive patterns of Murano glass were inspired by Chinese porcelain.

It was as late as 1700, a renowned craftsman, Giuseppe Briati, designed what is now known as the classic Murano chandelier. The central metal axis had numerous stems running from it, which was decorated with transparent fruits, flowers, and molded crystals.
The Baroque and Rococo influences can be seen in the designs. The Rezzonico chandelier, named after the palace, was created by Briati.
Modern-day Chandeliers – The modern chandeliers are more versatile and are attracting the interest of people. These chandeliers are designed to be more sustainable and fuel-efficient as compared to the traditional patterns which were more decorative.

Traditional chandeliers are finding a place in the modern homes, to create a drama among simple settings. The striking mix of old and new gives homes a touch of a tradition amongst modern setting.