The glass works that we find in Europe in the preceding decades reproduce the shape and decoration of the models from Venice or Bohemia and show an increasing interest for colour. Authors like Émile Gallé, educated in schools in which the reiteration of models and patterns had been the general rule, managed to revolutionize the Decorative Arts of glass with his wit and creativity. For that, Gallé opened a path of research and recovery of forgotten techniques that led to one of the most fruitful periods in the history of glass. Émile Gallé, promoter and ideologuer of the Nancy School, is the key figure to the development of Art Nouveau.
The popularity his creations reached, thanks to his artistic talent and his inpired vision for business, rised glass works to the category of artistic work: Gallé provoked a real transformation by applying the spirit of his time to his designs in a very original way. By using glass as a painter, he manipulated pigments and achieved to provide his creations with an unprecedented expressiveness. The commercial success of Gallé’s glass works moved others to imitate his style, both within and outside France. Firms such as D’Argental or the Daum Brothers applied the same techiques and similar patterns and models that made Gallé’s works famous. The Loetz glass works, which look iridiscent with metalic reflections, became very popular by 1900 and showed great skills when it comes to technique and design. Other firms such as Kralic or Pallme-König used this decorative effect in vases and inkwells.
Rene Lalique is a leading figure within the history of Ard Déco glass. Unlike in Gallé’s works, in which Nature is shown the way we perceive it, Lalique carried out an abtraction exercise by taking al element that is stylized and systematically repeated. In the 20s and the 30s, the opalescent effect resulting from adding arsenic to the glassy mass was a very habitual decorative technique. Although the most famous author of this kind of pieces which looked “milky” was Lalique, Marius Ernest Sabino also exploited the decorative possibilities of this technique in many of his works. The Art Nouveau and Art Déco Museum glass collection is conformed by more than 200 pieces signed by the most significant and representative authors at the time. Vases, perfume bottles, sculptures, lamps or board games are some of the wonders that will be admired by the visitor.
Translation: Beatriz Hernández Gómez