Pair of firedogs

Pair of firedogs
Attributed to Jean-Baptiste or Ange-Philippe Blerzy
Paris, circa 1780
Chased, gilt and enamelled bronze
Loaned by the Musée du Louvre, 1901
Inv. LOUVRE OA 5266 A-B
© Photo MAD, Paris / Cyrille Bernard

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The closeness of the firedogs to the fire in the hearth prompted artists to decorate them with themes inspired by antiquity such as the flaming vase, evoking the purifying fire kept by the vestal virgins, or the burning casket.