This month we are celebrating the birthday of Réné Lalique (1860-1945), French designer, jeweller and glass maker extraordinaire, who was a key figure of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements.
In 1876 René Lalique was a jewellery apprentice and studied at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs de Paris. This was followed by freelance work for leading jewellery houses such as Boucheron and Cartier, before setting up his own atelier. His work stood out because of the use of unusual materials and the focus on female forms, flora and fauna. This led to him being adored by the elite classes and called the ‘inventor of modern jewellery’ by fellow artist Émile Gallé.
By 1907, he was venturing into glass for the first time, creating perfume bottles for Coty. He loved the material so much he bought his own glassworks and proceeded to dominate the industry, producing work on a large scale. During this time, he became known for beautiful opalescent vases, tableware, and car mascots.
Today the factory is still running at Wingen-sur-Moder in North-Eastern France.
Image credit: 'Spirit of the Wind' mascot, photo by Ingrid Taylar is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.