Talk:René Lalique

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


RENE LALIQUE (1860-1945) A Brief History

Rene Lalique's life and artistic career bestrode arguably the three most important movements in the field of the Decorative Arts Belle Epoque, Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

The same period witnessed the evolution of decorative glass generally, with several defunct manufacturing techniques originally invented in Ancient Roman times being re-discovered and employed by the 20th Century's new generation of artists.

Rene Lalique's contemporaries, Emile Galle and the American Louis Comfort Tiffany, worked predominantly in Art Glass, distinctive for its rich combination of colour, botanic motifs and iridescence. These facets, although of great beauty, tended somewhat to disguise the medium of glass itself. Rene Lalique, however, stood out from his contemporaries by being the purist', who applied his talent to the inherent merits of glass, and thereby elevated it to new heights of technical and artistic interpretation.

Lalique was born on 6th April 1860 in the small French town of Ay in the Marne region. While still an adolescent, he won several awards for his illustrations, and by 1890 had achieved an enviable degree of success as a silversmith, goldsmith, enameller, sculptor, designer and of course as a jeweller. It was in this latter field that he first gained worldwide renown.

Working initially in the long tradition of 'Grande Joallerie', his genius eventually found expression through his rather avant-garde 'bijouterie', and his reputation as the world's leading 'newh-œhwave' jeweller was firmly established with his success at the Exposition Universelle, held in Paris in 1900. His exhibits were exceptional for their disciplined yet fantastic designs, and the bold combination of semi- precious stones, metals and even glass.

Glass held the greatest fascination for Lalique, evolving into commercial success after 1907 through his relationship with Francois Coty, principal of the eponymous perfume house for whom Lalique created a number of exquisite scent bottles. Building on this success, Lalique went on to design and manufacture a wide range of sumptuous glass ware, for which he is today most renowned. Accolade after accolade came to Lalique in the 1920's. 1925 saw his highly successful presence at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs, and the following year the creation of the famous pair of fountains 'Fontaines de la Galerie des Champs Elysees' exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Decorateur and subsequently installed at the Galerie du Lido His reputation, then was assured that of an 'artiste verrier who saw glass with the eye of a jeweller but treated glass with the hands of a sculptor.

The advent of the 1930's witnessed the period of his greatest commercial success. Many truly astonishing items of glassware were produced, including a range of 30 glass car mascots mainly of female nude or animalier form. Lalique had shrewdly recognised the vogue for 'automobiles de luxe' and offered its devotees his sensual mascots as the ultimate automotive adornment. Some of these mascots are today extremely rare and are amongst the most valuable of Lalique's work from this period h-œh the 'Renard' (Fox) mascot, for example, has in 1992 achieved a price of over £200,000, and certain unique coloured mascots have also approached this figure.

His range of vases and tableware have also become highly coveted collectable items achieving spectacular prices. The vase 'Cluny' recently sold for around £150,000, and the exceptional 'Cicada' vase, of which only one perfect example is known, was sold for almost £550,000 in late 1992.

Lalique's factory, employing over 500 artisans, flourished through the 1930's. He was paid an enormous compliment in 1938 when the French Government commissioned Lalique to produce a spectacular 'surtout de table' entitled 'Caravelle' which was presented to Their Royal Highnesses King George and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain on the occasion of their State visit to France in 1938.

Many other important commissions had been placed with Lalique during the 1930's the world's wealthiest and most discerning connoisseurs sought out Lalique to add his indefinable genius to their interiors, and his patrons included Indian maharajahs, American billionaire industrialists, the great Hollywood stars and European nobility, as well as almost all of the surviving crowned heads of Europe's Royal Houses.

Although Lalique himself just survived the Second World War, his factory sustained severe damage in the fighting, and many priceless designs and moulds were lost. His son, Marc, restarted the business in the late 1940's, which continues in its present form to this day.

Of all the eulogies and posthumous praise heaped on Lalique after his death, one is most worthy of recounting here. One of Lalique's greatest friends and lifelong patrons, the American oil billionaire Calouste Gulbenkianœ wrote: He ranks among the greatest figures in the history of art of all time... from Gulbenkian, whose art collection included works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Rodin and Gainsborough as well as some of the finest works by Lalique this was praise indeed. By Mark Waller

No discussion of Lalique's work should neglect mention of the Plique-a-jour enameling so central to his jewelry designs ex: [1]. One site discussing current work in plique-a-jour is: [2] If a more authoritative source on this difficult and breath-taking work is available, please do qoute it.

Don't copy and paste from other websites into talk pages. That, too, is a copyright violation. --Alvestrand (talk) 18:42, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

British version[edit]

Jewellery is a British spelling (Webster's dictionary) of jewelry. Superslum 07:35, 26 June 2006 (UTC) Lalique was French, so it makes sense to go with the European / British spelling Owen214 (talk) 13:24, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

death and burial on the same day?[edit]

it seems unlikely that rene lalique died AND was buried on 5 may 1945. badmachine (talk) 23:53, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

he might've been buried alive Owen214 (talk) 13:19, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Rene Lalique Biography Reference at - Proposed Link Addition[edit]

We want to add a link on this Rene Lalique Bio page to our extensive Biography of Rene Lalique at, and we are submitting it here for discussion. Any comments would be appreciated. Here is the link to take a look at. Rene Lalique Biography at Kidcobra (talk) 12:47, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

  • Great biographical information, well worth the link, I'm adding it as an external link. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:35, 10 March 2009 (UTC)


I think it's not really a nice intro how it introduces him by saying when he was born and when he died. The first sentence should really say why he was famous. I would've said he was a glass designer, then say when he lived, then go into the specifics of his glass design. Owen214 (talk) 13:22, 30 July 2010 (UTC)


According to Patagoniaddd, the list of museums is also spam. The issue seems to be in particular the first item, the museum in Duisburg. I have referenced the Lisbon Gulbenkian museum using one of the external links the article already had, and the Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim seems worthy of its red link: nl:Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim is quite nice, and there's also a German article. Maybe we should just delete the first item; I am not sure after looking at its site how far it's for profit, but am inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt; it has exhibitions and regular opening hours. Patagoniaddd, can you expand on why you are against this particular museum being listed and whether you'd still like to see the entire list of museums removed? Yngvadottir (talk) 15:50, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

There has been another round of add-and-revert and still no discussion here. I think the list of museums holding his work was a good addition to the text, but it didn't have links on them, and the Pforzheim jewellery museum and the V & A were omitted. I have added those and linked all - two are red links. Patagoniaddd, please explain which links you think are particularly bad and why. E.Doornbusch, why do you think we need a list of museums separate from the text? Does anyone else have any views on what we should include about places that have Lalique collections, and whether we should list their websites? Yngvadottir (talk) 16:41, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Salve; The metadata from cultural instititutions (GLAM!) are represented in these lists; owners or keepers of (art)historical objects are important for it's history and (scientifical) research. As a dataprofessional and arthistorian I think this information is usefull. Regards, E.Doornbusch (talk) 16:11, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

@E.Doornbusch: Thanks for responding. Can you unpack that comment about "metadata", please? I have unpleasant associations with its unexplained use to argue for infoboxes, and I don't understand your point. Isn't just linking to an article on the museum or gallery enough if we have an adequate article on it, with a link there to its site? (I believe we need an article on the Pforzheim Jewellery Museum.) Of course if any of these museums have an informational page on Lalique, I think such would be good to fill out the references. Yngvadottir (talk) 16:27, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Hi, jumping in to share some sources from the Corning Museum of Glass website: René Lalique, Designing for a New Century: Works on Paper by René Lalique and His Contemporaries, and René Lalique’s Automobile Mascots are probably the most useful. extabulis (talk) 19:15, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Also, my two cents on the linking question: I agree with Yngvadottir that wikilinks plus using informational pages to strengthen the article and its references is the way to go. It looks like most of the links led to "Lalique" searches on museum websites - I've often encountered the same sort of links on other artists' Wikipedia pages, and they're usually broken because the museum has changed their website, search function, etc. extabulis (talk) 19:30, 9 March 2015 (UTC)