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René Lalique

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René Lalique
Born(1860-04-06)6 April 1860
Aÿ, Marne, France
Died1 May 1945 (aged 85)
Paris, France
Alma materCollège Turgot, Ecole des arts décoratifs, Crystal Palace School of Art
OccupationGlass designer
Known forGlass art
  • Marie-Louise Lambert
  • Alice Ledru

René Jules Lalique (6 April 1860 – 1 May 1945)[1][2] was a French jeweller, medallist,[3][4] and glass designer known for his creations of glass art, perfume bottles, vases, jewellery, chandeliers, clocks, and automobile hood ornaments.[5][1][6][7]



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 the suburbs of Paris, but traveled to Aÿ for summer holidays. These trips influenced Lalique later on in his naturalistic glasswork. With the death of his father, Lalique began working as an apprentice to goldsmith Louis Aucoc in Paris. Lalique died on 1 May or 5 May 1945, in Paris. René Lalique was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France. His daughter Suzanne Lalique was the painter and set designer for the Comédie-Française. His granddaughter, Marie Claude-Lalique (b. 1936), was also a glass maker who died on 14 April 2003 in Fort Myers, Florida.[1][2]



In 1872, when he was twelve, René 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 to 1876 and subsequently spent two years at the Crystal Palace School of Art Sydenham, London. During that time, he also practised as an apprentice goldsmith to leading Parisian Art Nouveau jeweller and goldsmith Louis Aucoc. At the Sydenham Art College, his skills for graphic design were improved, and his naturalistic approach to art was further developed.[1]

In 1876, at 16, René Lalique was apprenticed to the jeweler Louis Aucoc. Aucoc was among the leading jewelers working in Paris at the time, and this provided the young René Lalique with an excellent opportunity to learn jewelry production and design. During this time, Lalique also studied at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. By 1881, Lalique worked as a freelance designer for several French jewelry firms, including Cartier and Boucheron. In 1886, he started working in his workshop in Paris, in the former workshop of Jules Destape. In 1890, René Lalique opened a jewelry store in the Opéra district of Paris. While working in this new shop, some of René Lalique's most famous jewelry designs were created, as well as his experimentation and use of glass. The main motif of Lalique's jewelry design was the natural world. He was influenced not only by the nature of the French countryside but also by the motifs of Japanese nature art. And he incorporated many materials into his jewelry that were not widely used in high-end jewelry in his time, including glass, horn, pearl, semi-precious stones, enamel, and ivory. He used typical period gemstones only for artistic appearance and not for their value. Therefore, his Lalique jewelry creations were not just holders of precious stones, they were works of art in their own right, creating worldwide interest and great demand.[8]

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, designed and made his own jewellery and other glass pieces. After 1895, Lalique also created pieces for Samuel Bing's Paris shop, the Maison de l'Art Nouveau, which gave Art Nouveau its name. One of Lalique's major patrons was Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, who commissioned more than 140 of his works over nearly 30 years.[9]

Glass maker


Lalique was best known for his creations in glass art.[5] 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 and font of St. Matthew's Church at Millbrook in Jersey (Lalique's "Glass Church").[10] As part of the Art Nouveau style, many of his jewellery pieces and vases showcase plants, flowers and flowing lines.[11]

Both unique and commercial works of René Lalique are in the collections of a large number of public museums around the world including the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon, the Lalique Museum of Hakone in Japan, the Musée Lalique [fr] and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in France, the Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim [de] in Germany, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum and the Corning Museum in New York State, and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.[1]



See also



  1. ^ a b c d e "Rene Lalique - A Giant Among Giants". rlalique.com. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b BnF 12101962w
  3. ^ Forrer, L. (1907). "Lalique, René". Biographical Dictionary of Medallists. Vol. III. London: Spink & Son Ltd. pp. 275–278.
  4. ^ Forrer, L. (1923). "Lalique, René". Biographical Dictionary of Medallists. Vol. VII. London: Spink & Son Ltd. p. 528.
  5. ^ a b Warmus, William (2003). The essential René Lalique. New York: Wonderland Press: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 9780810958364.
  6. ^ "René Lalique: Enchanted by Glass". Corning Museum of Glass. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Lalique, more than a name". Musée Lalique. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
  8. ^ "René Lalique Biography". RLalique.com. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2024.
  9. ^ Yager, Jan (1998). "Patrons who make history" (PDF). Art Jewelry Forum. No. 4. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  10. ^ Jane Ashelford, 1980, "Lalique's Glass Church," The Journal of the Decorative Arts Society, Vol. 4, pp. 28–33.
  11. ^ "It's All in the Details". ABA Journal. 86. American Bar Association: 88. June 2000. ISSN 0747-0088.
  12. ^ "'Dragonfly' Broach". Museu Calouste Gulbenkian. Archived from the original on 2 December 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2016.

Unique Lalique Mascots Vol's 1 to 3 by G.G. Weiner


  • Bayer, Patricia & Waller, Mark: The Art of René 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
  • Elliott, Kelley J. René Lalique: Enchanted by Glass, The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York 2014. ISBN 978-0-300-20511-4
  • Weiner, Geoffrey George Unique Lalique Mascots, The Book Guild Ltd., Brighton 2014 ISBN 978-1909-984219
  • Weiner, Geoffrey George " Unique Lalique Mascots", Grosvenor House Publishing Co.2020 (ISBN 978-1-78623-510-7)
  • Weiner, Geoffrey George "Catalogue Raisonne", The Definitive Collector's Guide to Lalique Automobile Mascots (Decorative Hood Ornaments) to be published in May 2025