by D. Weinstein on Thursday, September 18, 2014
Rene Lalique was born on April 6, 1860. Lalique was a famous French artist who was most noted for his glass creations, including glass art, jewelry, vases, car hood ornaments and perfume bottles. He founded a glassware company and named it after himself. This company still operates today even though Lalique perished on May 5, 1945.
Lalique spent most of his youth in Paris, France. After his father died when he was 4 years old, Lalique began working as an apprentice to the famous goldsmith, Louis Aucoc. When Lalique turned 12, he enrolled in College Turgot. At Turgot, he focused on developing his illustration abilities. Lalique spent his teen and early adult years learning the ins and outs of design and art in general. He enrolled in night courses at the Ecole des arts decoratifs. He worked there for two years before attending the Crystal Palace School of Art in Sydenham, London. Here, he refined his graphic design skills and developed more of a naturalistic art style.
When Lalique returned to Paris, he labored as a freelance artist. He designed jewelry for famous jewelers like Boucheron and Cartier. He started in own company in 1885. Lalique successfully sold his own glass artworks, including lovely pieces of jewelry. Over the course of the next 5 years, he established himself as a top jewelry designer in France. His specific niche was Art Nouveau jewelry. His pieces were a part of Samuel Bing’s collection at his famous Paris store called Maison de l’Art Nouveau. Lalique went on to become one of the most famous jewelry and glass designers in the world.
When World War II began, most of Lalique’s business ground to a halt. He married twice, though his second wife, Augustine Alice, passed away in 1909, far before his own death. He died in 1945 at his home in Paris. He died peacefully, knowing that his Alsace Wingen factory was safely preserved by Allied forces and all of his best molds were secure. Lalique is buried in a grave in Paris’s Le Pere Lachaise Cemetery. His grave’s headstone is inset with a special crucifix made of glass that he designed himself. His second wife, Augustine Alice and his son, Marc Lalique, are buried next to him beneath the same headstone.