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Émile Gallé was born in Nancy and raised with a solid education where he developed an interest in chemistry and learning the techniques of glass-making in Meisenthal, Germany after leaving high school. Following the Franco-Prussian war, he started working at his father’s glass factory and then decided to go travelling after the uprising of the Paris Commune. Gallé went to London and discovered the Victoria & Albert Museum collection in South Kensington and the plants of Kew Gardens. He subsequently travelled back to Paris, then on to Italy and Switzerland where he immersed himself in the museums to engage with the culture of the past and decorative motifs of the medieval times, Islamic art objects, and the Rococo style of the 17th and 18th Centuries. He also visited the gardens where he found freshness and inspiration in the colours and forms of nature. This motivated his interest in transcribing the forms offered by nature into glass ornamentation. He started developing his decorative techniques, experimented extensively and expanded his repertoire to earthenware and woodwork.
In 1901, he founded the École de Nancy with Antonin Daum, Louis Majorelle and Eugene Vallin, with the aim of promoting regional crafts. The school soon gained momentum in the movement of Art Nouveau, however, Galle tried to keep the school at a certain distance from the decorative principles of Art Nouveau, as he considered it to be a little repetitive and not creative enough.
In 1904, Gallé died of Leukaemia. His wife, Henriette and his faithful collaborator Victor Prouvé endeavored to keep the factories and continue his work with the support of the employees, glassmakers, designers, sculptors and engravers.
|Height||57.00 cm||(22.44 inches)|