René Lalique: The Designer that Revolutionized the World of Jewelry
René Jules Lalique is a world-famous French designer of jewelry, glass objects, luxury perfume bottles, chandeliers, watches, and other fascinating items.
Lalique is known for the beauty and quality of his creations, true works of art, which are highly prized among collectors. Some of his antique jewelry pieces and glass objects, such as those famous vases, have been exhibited in many museums around the world.
It can be said he is the undisputed king of Art Nouveau Jewelry, and one of the greatest representatives of the Art Deco movement.
He was born on April 6, 1860, in Ay, Marne (France) and passed away - after achieving greatness and leaving his imprint on the world - on May 5, 1945, in Paris.
A Brief History of Rene Lalique
René Lalique spent the first part of his life learning design methods that he later applied in his amazing artistic creations.
When he was two years old, the family moved from Ay to Paris. However, Ay was not forgotten, because the Lalique family returned there every summer vacation. The influence of his hometown can be observed in the glass objects with patterns inspired by nature, which Lalique later made.
At the age of 12, René Lalique took classes at Turgot College, where he took his first drawing and sketching lessons.
Two years later, after her father died, Lalique became an apprentice to a Parisian jeweler, Louis Aucoc. In parallel, he attended the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs, and from 1878 to 1880, he studied at the Sydenham College of Art in London, Great Britain. Here, Lalique perfected his drawing skills and developed his naturalistic approach to art.
He returned to France after graduating from college in 1882 and worked initially as a freelance artist for several top jewelry houses in Paris, including Boucheron, Cartier, and Aucoc. Four years later he opened his own jewelry workshop.
As a jeweler, he did wonders in the Art Nouveau style. René Lalique created incredible pieces for renowned actresses like Sarah Bernhardt, for aristocrats, but also for his patron, Calouste Gulbenkian.
In 1890, Rene Lalique was already recognized as one of France's leading Art Nouveau jewelry designers, making innovative pieces for La Maison de l'Art Nouveau, Samuel Bing's new Parisian store. Lalique was known for his outstanding creativity and the high quality of his jewelry.
In addition, René Lalique uses the most modern and innovative manufacturing techniques and equipment available, which allow him to make more than one glass item at a time, keeping the handmade look, which meant that his quality jewelry became accessible to the general public.
Luxury Perfume Bottles
In 1907, Lalique began collaborating with Coty, for which he created perfume bottles. He made several thousand perfume bottles, in over 250 different models, all elegant and innovative, both for Maison Lalique and for famous companies such as Rogeret et Gallet, D'Orsay, Guerlain, Forvil, Houbigant, and Worth.
Rene Lalique D'Orsay "Rose" perfume bottle (1914), "Eucalyptus" perfume bottle (1919), "Three dancing pairs" perfume bottle (1912), Kitazawa Museum
The rarest and most valuable perfume bottle that bears his signature is "Bouchon Mures", a model sold in 1990 at Bonhams for the fabulous sum of 38,000 pounds.
The glass he made is clean, matte, amber or plum or gray, yellow, green, blue, and black. Lalique perfected the use of opalescent glass, reminiscent of diamonds or opals, from which he modeled figurines, plates, bowls, vases, chandeliers, and car mascots.
René Lalique produced these wonderful objects in Art Nouveau style and later in Art Deco style.
In 1920, René Lalique is already known for his Art Deco work. These include lighted glass walls and elegant glass columns that adorn the living room and grand hall of the SS Normandie.
Rene Lalique was a Visionary
Lalique's work was influenced by nature, as well as the Art Nouveau and Art Deco artistic styles.
The summer holidays in Ay, France, as well as his studies at Sydenham College of Art in London, had a strong effect on Lalique's nature-inspired works. As a result, many of the jewelry and vases he made have patterns of plants, flowers, and flowing lines.
Recognized as one of the greatest glassmakers and jewelry designers in the world, during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, René Jules Lalique was an artist full of imagination and creativity in everything he did. He is a legend, and his timeless works will continue to inspire other artists for many years to come.