LOUIS MAJORELLE (France, 1859 - 1926) and DAUM. France, ca. 1930.
Pair of lamps.
Majorelle iron base and Daum glass shade.
Measurements: 40 x 19 x 19 x 19 cm.
The lamp in tender has an iron base with markedly naturalistic forms, faithful to Majorelle's Art Nouveau morphology. The granulated shaft gives way to a lampshade in the form of a floral corolla made entirely of Daum glass, in which orange tones dominate. During the Art Nouveau period, most of Daum's pieces were made of acid-etched cameo glass, but with the new Art Deco style, new techniques and decorative styles were investigated.
A cabinetmaker and designer who was a member of the Nancy School, of which he was even vice-president, Louis Majorelle was the son of a furniture designer and manufacturer based in the town of Toul, from where he moved to Nancy with his family. Majorelle received his first artistic training there and then went to Paris in 1877, where he studied for two years at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, where his teacher was Jean-François Millet. However, the death of his father forced him to return to Nancy to run the family earthenware and furniture factory, a task he would combine with his artistic practice for the rest of his life. In the 1980s and until the early 1990s, Majorelle produced Louis XV-style furniture in the family firm, which he took to the 1894 Exhibition of Decorative and Industrial Arts in Nancy. There, however, he was able to see first-hand the works of Émile Gallé, whose influence would determine a radical change in Majorelle's production. From then on, his work was characterised by the use of naturalistic elements in his forms and marquetry. From the nineteen-nineties onwards, his furniture became fully Art Nouveau, with intertwined forms and a clear direct inspiration from nature, with motifs such as plants, water lilies, the typical Nancy thistle and the dragonfly, an icon of French modernism. In 1900, he went a step further and set up a forge workshop in his factory in order to be able to make iron fittings in accordance with his designs. Over time, this became more important and he was responsible for the handrails on staircases and the exterior details of many buildings in Nancy. That same year, 1900, Majorelle was a great success at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, which encouraged him to start mass production, enabling him to rapidly expand his catalogue. He also collaborated frequently with one of Nancy's great art glass firms, that of the Daum brothers, and in 1901 he was one of the founding members of the Nancy School, led by Gallé. His success was dazzling, and by 1910 Majorelle had furniture shops in Paris, Lyon and Lille as well as Nancy. Today his works can be found in prominent collections such as the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, the MoMA in New York, the Walters in Baltimore, the Texas College of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and many others.