René Lalique

René Lalique was born in 1860 in Ay-Champagne. At the age of two his family moved to Paris. Summers family usually spent in Champagne countryside. So from young age René Lalique was inspired by the beauty of nature, which he realized later in his naturalistic designs of flora and fauna. In 1876 René Lalique Lalique began working as an apprentice for goldsmith Louis Aucoc in Paris.

He studied at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, after he spent two years in England at the Crystal Palace School of Art Sydenham. Upon his return from England he worked as a freelance artist designing pieces of jewellery for French jewelers like Cartier or Boucheron. Lalique spent time learning the methods of design and art he would use in his later life. In 1885 Lalique opened his own atelier and started to make his own jewellery.

René Lalique made most remarkable pieces of Art Nouveau jewellery such as brooches, pendants, rings and necklaces. Emile Gallé, the prominent founder of French Art Nouveau glassmaking and design, called Lalique “the inventor of modern jewellery”.

In 1900 René Lalique had greatest success at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. The event marked the pick of his career as a jeweller. However, René Lalique is also best known for his creations in glass art.

In 1907 he met the famous perfumer François Coty and began creating perfume bottles for specific perfumes both for Coty and other perfumers.

In 1913 René Lalique bought the Combs-la-Ville Glassworks, where he focused on economies of scale by increasing production and lowering costs. This made his creations more affordable to a wider population.

In the 1920s he became recognized for his work in the Art Deco style. He received orders to manufacture walls of lighted glass, elegant coloured glass columns which filled the dining room as well as the interior fittings, screens etc, even reredos and font of St. Matthew’s Church at Millbrook in Jersey (famous as Lalique’s “Glass Church”).

In 1921 René Lalique decided to build a new factory at Wingen-sur-Moder. This region of France was known for skilled workers and supported by the financial incentives of the French government after the First World War.

The Verrerie d’Alsace specialised particularly in tableware, designing and producing glassware (vases, chandeliers, glass art).

In 1925 at Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes René Lalique was triumphed as a glass designer and producer. René Lalique died on 1 May 1945, he left to the world an artistic heritage and a brand name that lives till today.

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