Galle Cameo Glass Vase with tree landscape
Galle Cameo Glass Vase with everted rim, double-overlaid and acid-etched with trees in a landscape. Circa 1910 and signed in cameo, Galle.
Sold for GBP 3,000 at Christies
Gallé was the son of a faience and furniture manufacturer and studied philosophy, botany, and drawing in his youth. He later learned glassmaking at Meisenthal and came to work at his father’s factory in Nancy following the Franco-Prussian War. His early work was executed using clear glass decorated with enamel, but he soon turned to an original style featuring heavy, opaque glass carved or etched with plant motifs, often in two or more colours as cameo glass. His friend and patron Robert de Montesquiou sent him to Bayreuth with a recommendation to Cosima Wagner, which led to a great enthusiasm for Parsifal.
Within a decade of another successful showing at the Paris Exhibition of 1889, Gallé had reached international fame and his style, with its emphasis on naturalism and floral motifs, was at the forefront of the emerging Art Nouveau movement.
He continued to incorporate experimental techniques into his work, such as metallic foils and air bubbles, and also revitalized the glass industry by establishing a workshop to mass-produce his, and other artists’, designs. The factory would employ 300 workers and artisans at its height, including the notable glassmaker Eugène Rosseau, and remained in operation until 1936.
Art Nouveau is an international style of art, architecture and applied art, especially the decorative arts, that was most popular between 1890 and 1910. A reaction to the academic art of the 19th century, it was inspired by natural forms and structures, particularly the curved lines of plants and flowers and was often used by Galle in his creations.