Lalique, Rene


Rene Lalique – a magnificent jeweler, goldsmith and silversmith artisan, an excellent drawer, brilliant stylist, designer and master of art glass – belongs to the constellation of the best artists of his time. His creations became the classics of the 20th century while he was alive.

At the age of 16 he started as an apprentice under a goldsmith master. After 2 years of experience as the apprentice, he entered the Decorative Arts School in Paris (École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs). Began commissioned work for the Cartier house. Began collaborating with P. Destap in 1884, in two years Destap devolved him the guidance of the workshop. The sensational success at the world exhibition of 1900 contributed to the advertising of René products, as well as the fact that famous Sarah Bernhardt was among his major customers.

Rene experimented with glass, always creating original and dynamic works of unusual forms. Originally used the method of "vanishing wax" which was taken from jewellery techniques later developed and implemented his own method of injection molding. Conducted experiments at the plant in Wingen-sur-Moder laboratories. One of the characteristic features of works by Lalique is the unusually colored glass and glass coated with a patina (coloured enamel). The recipe of the famous Lalique opalescent glass is still "a top secret of the firm".

Among the internationally known artisn’s works — Vases Bacchae (Bacchantes), Archers (Archers), Lovebird (Perruches), crystal sculptures Suzanne (Suzanne), Tais (Tais), Floreal; decorations for automotive radiators (later many of them became iconic interior design items and are still manufectured) — Creasy (Chrysis) , Speed (Vitesse), Victory (Victoire), Longchamp (Longchamps) and many others.

Lalique used his talent while he sreated crystal bottles for the perfume company Coty and other perfume companies. Nowadays the Lalique brand has its own flavors, such as Lalique De Lalique, Lalique Pour Homme or Amethyst.

Rene preferred plain forms, achieving the desired effects through decoration. Nevertheless, the models were cast or pressed in forms that allowed achieving mass production (the famous perfume bottles dominated). Lalique enterprises produced dinnerware and decorative tableware, lamps, chandeliers and decorative elements of the interior as well. The peak of the company popularity was in 1920s, when panels and other products, created by Lalique turned out to be the main embellishment of the French Department of the International Decorative Arts Exhibition in Paris (1925).

During his latest years, René Lalique was engaged in creation of "large forms" — the decoration of hotels, churches, restaurants. Light panels, chandeliers, sconces, door panels, columns, tableware, dinnerware, interior decorations, fountains etc. All this was manufectured by the firm in 1930-40 years.

After Rene Lalique death (on May 05, 1945, in Paris), his firm was headed by his son, Marc Lalique, and later – by his granddaughter, Marie-Claude.

Exhibits in the Museum Collection