René Lalique was the most famous jeweller of the “Belle Epoque”, the favorite of great actress Sarah Bernhardt, admired by Emile Gallé and praised by famous collectors such as Calouste Gulbenkian. From 1885, René Lalique re-invented the jewellery of his time. Of an insatiable curiosity, he drew his inspiration from nature, which he observed every single detail, exploring all the decorative possibilities of fauna and flora. He also was audacious enough to use the female body as an element of ornamentation. His jewels pay homage to nature, displaying women and butterflies, moths and dragonflies. He re-habilitated the insects and highlighted their beauty.
Wasps, beetles, grasshoppers show their undiscovered ornamental power. As a magician, he gave them a new light and majesty. This genius creator metamorphosed materials with his technique, and turned nature into something magical thanks to his talent of recreating and re-interpreting it.
The beauty and originality of his jewels are not the only fruit of drawing and inspiration. He never hesitated to call upon new techniques and materials such as horn, ivory, semi-precious stones, enamel and of course glass which he associated with gold and precious stones. His revolutionary creations made him the Master of “Art Nouveau” jewellery.
In 1910, René Lalique abandoned jewellery and devoted himself to glass making.