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René Jules Lalique (6 April 1860, Ay, Marne – 5 May 1945, Paris) was a French glass designer known for his creations of glass art, perfume bottles, vases, jewelry, chandeliers, clocks and automobile hood ornaments. He started a glassware firm, named after him, which still remains successful.
Lalique's early life was spent learning the methods of design and art he would use in his later life. At the age of two, his family moved to a suburb of Paris, but traveled to Ay for summer holidays. These trips influenced Lalique's later naturalistic glasswork. With the death of his father two years later, Lalique began working as an apprentice to goldsmith Louis Aucoc in Paris. He died 5 May 1945, Paris. René Lalique was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France. His granddaughter, Marie Claude-Lalique (b. 1936), was also a glass maker. She died on April 14, 2003 in Fort Myers, Florida.
In 1872, when he was twelve, he entered the Collège Turgot where he started drawing and sketching. He attended evening classes at the Ecole des arts décoratifs. He worked there from 1874-1876 and subsequently spent two years at the Crystal Palace School of Art Sydenham, London. At the Sydenham Art College, his skills for graphic design were improved, and his naturalistic approach to art was further developed.
Art Nouveau jewellery designer
When he returned from England, he worked as a freelance artist, designing pieces of jewellery for French jewelers Cartier, Boucheron and others. In 1885, he opened his own business and designed and made his own jewellery and other glass pieces. By 1890, Lalique was recognized as one of France's foremost Art Nouveau jewellery designers; creating innovative pieces for Samuel Bing's new Paris shop, Maison de l'Art Nouveau. He went on to be one of the most famous in his field, his name synonymous with creativity, beauty and quality.
In the 1920s, he became noted for his work in the Art Deco style. He was responsible for the walls of lighted glass and elegant coloured glass columns which filled the dining room and "grand salon" of the SS Normandie and the interior fittings, cross, screens, reredos, font of St. Matthew's Church at Millbrook in Jersey  (Lalique's Glass Church). His earlier experiences in Ay were his defining influence in his later work. As a result, many of his jewelry pieces and vases showcase plants, flowers and flowing lines.
Cicadas, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
Tiara, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
Glass vase, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
Pendant, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
- William Warmus;The Essential Rene Lalique .Harry N Abrams Inc New York, 2002 ISBN 978-0-8109-5836-4
- Bayer,Patricia & Waller,Mark: The Art of Rene Lalique, Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd, London 1988 ISBN 0-7475-0182-3
- Dawes,Nicholas M: Lalique Glass,Crown Publishers, London 1986 ISBN 978-0-517-55835-5
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to René Lalique.|
- Rene Lalique Biography at RLalique.com.
- Lalique company, with a biography of the artist from the company web site.
- Lalique jewels in the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
- "René Lalique -'Oranges' vase". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
- This is Jersey article on St Matthew's Millbrook, the "Glass Church".
- Musée Lalique official website of French museum entirely about Lalique