René Jules Lalique was born in France in 1860. When he was two-years-old, his family moved to the outskirts of Paris, but often traveled to northeastern France. As he grew, René developed a love of nature, which would later be reflected in his artwork.
As a boy, René apprenticed to a goldsmith, and began to show a penchant for art. When he was twelve, he began college classes, and began to hone his skills in sketching and drawing. He spent two years at the Crystal Palace School of Art in London. He learned to design jewelry and continued to garner attention with his naturalistic artwork.
In London, René began to make jewelry for well-known jewelers such as Cartier. In 1885, René ventured into his own business and began to design jewelry and glasswork in his own name. By 1890, he was recognized as one of the leading artists in designing jewelry and often made pieces displayed in upper end Parisian shops. His creativity, quality and the beauty of his pieces were highly sought after.
|Spirit of the Wind hood ornament|
Photo by Ingrid Taylar
While Lalique jewelry garnered popularity, he made his biggest impact when he began to work with glass. In the 1920’s he designed in credible art works in crystal. He was known for his art deco style. He designed a lighted glass wall for the SS Normandie and glass fonts and fixtures for St. Matthew’s Church in France, which became known as Lalique’s Glass Church. His glasswork is in other places, including the infamous Orient Express.
|Glasswork in St. Matthew's Church|
Photo by Danrok
René’s glassworks are in museums throughout the world. The simplicity of his design and the artistry is breathtaking. He designed beautiful perfume bottles for François Coty.
|Renard Photo by Morio|
|Falcon Photo by Morio|
I recently viewed some pieces of Lalique crystal, which made me curious about the artist. I’ve included some pictures of the pieces I saw at the antique book fair. Have you ever seen any Lalique glass? I would be hesitant to have a glass hood ornament, but the ones I saw were beautiful. What are your thoughts?
|Crystal bowl inside|
|Crystal bowl outside|
Nancy J Farrier is an award winning author who lives in Southern California in the Mojave Desert. She loves the Southwest with its interesting historical past. Nancy and her husband have five children and two grandsons. When Nancy isn’t writing, she loves to read, do needlecraft, play with her cats, and spend time with her family. Nancy is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Literary Agency. You can read more about Nancy and her books on her website: nancyjfarrier.com.