I have always appreciated Lalique glass works, but knew nothing about René Lalique, the founder of the company. Before Lalique (1860-1945) worked chiefly with glass, he went to the College Turgot and then to École des Art Décoratifs. Later, he moved from Paris to London for two years to attend Crystal Palace School of Art Sydenham. After returning to Paris, Lalique worked free-lance for jewelers such as Cartier and Boucheron and for many private clients. He then opened shop for himself designing chiefly glass jewelry. He became well-known and was applauded for his creativity and design of jewelry, which usually featured the natural world in some form. In the 1920s, Lalique began creating works in the Art Deco style, mainly with glass.
Lalique married his first wife in 1886. In 1888, they had a daughter, Georgette. Lalique and Marie-Louis Lambert divorced after being separated for about 5 years. Georgette died in 1910. Lalique started his business near the Opera in Paris. He also met and married the daughter of sculptor Auguste Ledru, Augustine-Alice Ledru. They had a girl, Suzanne, and a boy, Marc. Alice died 7 years later. Lalique had another son with a French woman he later met in London. This son, Rene Le Mesnil, donated the beautiful piece entitled The Kiss and show below to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
Lalique’s business flourished in the early 1900s and his factories helped the World War I effort with the manufacture of plain glass bottles and other containers for hospitals. Business boomed for Lalique in the 1920s and he also had two more children in his late 60s with Marie Anere. Lalique designed and produced vases, perfume bottles, hood ornaments, and many more items for the person and home. World War II hurt his factories and production but his molds remained intact throughout the war.
Lalique is buried in Pere Lachaise and his headstone has a glass crucifix inset that he designed.