If you’re a fan of the “Antiques Road Show” or “Bargain Hunt”, then you will know that Lalique glass regularly appears on these and other similar shows. But, apart from the fact that the glass is beautiful, often unique and can command high prices, what more do you know about it?
Well, if you love France and relish the peace and tranquillity of a barge holiday in France along the Canal de la Marne Rhin, be sure to take advantage of a tour to Wingen sur Moder which houses a museum dedicated to the life and work of René Lalique.
So, Who Was René Lalique?
Born in the town of Ay in the Champagne region of northern France in 1860, his artistic abilities became apparent at an early age and he began studying at a school of art at the age of 12. He went on to study at the prestigious School of Decorative Arts in Paris and then at the Crystal Palace School of Art in Sydenham, London. It was here that he developed his skills as a graphic designer and his naturalistic approach that was to be a major theme in his life’s work. After working as a designer for Cartier, Boucheron and other famous designers, he started his own business in 1890 and soon became a well known and sought after designer of jewellery and glass pieces.
Today, he is most widely associated with his innovative and creative glass work, examples of which are displayed at the Wingen sur Moder museum.
Visit the Lalique Museum
A visit to the museum during your barge holiday in France is a must! Located in the former Hochberg glassworks which are themselves a registered Historic Monument, the museum, which only opened in 2011, has become a major attraction bringing in visitors from around the world.
The museum houses over 650 examples of Lalique works. Displayed by theme and chronology, a tour through the museum provides an in-depth view of the artist’s life and work.
Amongst the themes on display are:
Jewellery – photographs and reproductions from the 1900 Paris World Fair which is considered to have showcased Lalique’s best ever jewellery designs.
Drawing – original sketches outlining each of the artist’s new designs show his intense attention to detail and his desire to achieve perfection in design.
Perfume bottles – over 230 stunningly beautiful perfume bottles are on display. It was here that he was able to express his passion for natural lines with designs for perfume bottles to attract consumers and to suggest the scents within.
Glass – Lalique also produce “everyday” objects such tableware, lamps, vases, clocks and even glass designer radiator caps for cars of the 1920s.
Crystal – The Lalique family continues to produce pieces in its founder’s tradition. The Crystal section displays work by Marc and Marie-Claude Lalique as well as modern pieces still being produced today.
A barge holiday in France is a great way to see parts of the country that you might otherwise miss – but it’s also a great way to get from place to place and see some of Frances’s rich cultural and artistic heritage – like the Lalique Museum.
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider if you're looking for an all-inclusive, luxury barge holiday in France or other great destinations. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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