As some of you may know, my husband and I spent a week in Lisbon, Portugal in November. We visited a wonderful museum there, which includes an amazing collection of works by the famed Art Nouveau jewelry and glass artist, René Lalique. I included some photos and information about René Lalique in a previous post. Today, I’ll add more photos and information about Lalique’s life and work.
I have been intrigued with Art Nouveau design, ever since I met my then husband-to-be in 1970. He was an exchange student to my high school, from Darmstadt, Germany. Darmstadt is a mid-sized city near Frankfurt, that is home to many outstanding Art Nouveau homes, buildings and sculptures.
|Art Nouveau door in Darmstadt, Germany. Built in 1901.|
René Lalique began working as an
apprentice jeweler and goldsmith in 1876. He also took evening jewelry classes and within a few years, he moved to London to continue his studies.
|Check out the hinges that connect the grasshopper’s legs!|
During this formative period, Lalique cultivated his graphic design skills, and developed a unique and
naturalistic style that later became his trademark as a jeweler.
1880, Lalique returned to Paris and started work as a freelance
jeweler and jewelry illustrator. In
1885 he took over a well known jewelry
workshop where he began to build a reputation for his unique jewelry designs.
His innovations included the use of less expensive elements, such as translucent enamels, semiprecious stones, ivory
and hard stones.
In time, Lalique began to incorporate glass into his jewelry in
the form of cast pates-de-verre. Starting in 1893 Lalique began winning numerous jewelry design awards.
He designed stage jewelry
for the actress Sarah Bernhardt. He also created pieces for
Siegfried Bing’s Maison de l’Art Nouveau, the Paris shop that gave its
name to the Art Nouveau movement.
1900, at a Paris exhibition, Lalique became known as the founder of a new school of modern
jewelry design and was awarded Legion of Honor’s Croix de Chevalier.
Lalique went on to design everything from vases to car mascots to statues and church windows. To say he was prolific is clearly an
Lalique opened a boutique, in Paris, that continues to serve as
the main Lalique showroom today. René Lalique died on May 5, 1945, at
the age of 85.
I also took pictures of some of Lalique’s vases and home decor items. I will be posting them on my personal blog tomorrow. I invite you to visit Linda’s Bead Blog & Meanderings to see the rest of my Lalique pictures.