On a recent trip to Lisbon, I visited the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Amongst the vast collection spanning from Ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian artefacts to 18h Century paintings and decorative Art. There is a room dedicated to the genius artist jeweller of the art nouveau movement, Rene Lalique (1860-1945). It is a permanent exhibition of Lalique’s historical and important jewels and objet d’art. Most notably, The Dragon Fly, is an example of Lalique’s original artistic design and imagination. Argumentatively, one of the most creative and astonishing jewellery pieces ever created.
The Dragon Fly – A surreal and mystical hybrid creature of beauty, the metamorphic state of female sexuality.
The Dragon Fly corsage ornament set in gold, enamel, chrysoprase, moonstone and diamonds.
From Left to Right: Drawing for Nymph pendant. Nymph pendant in gold, ivory and agate. Thistles Stalks in horn and silver. Winter woodlands pendant set in gold, glass, enamel and a suspended baroque pearl. Woman’s Face set with sapphire, ivory, diamond and enamel pendant.
From Left to Right: Head in chrysoprase set in gold with gold enamel. Eagles in Mulberry Branches dog collar set in gold, glass, enamel and aquamarine. Opal dog collar set in gold and enamel. Wooded Landscape dog collar of gold plaque, opal and diamonds.
Rose Stems corsage ornament of gold, amethyst, glass and enamel. A Thistle Stalk brooch in gold, glass, enamel, aquamarine and diamonds.
A selection of horn combs
Left to right: Three Ballerina’s in ivory and gold with enamel pine-cones. Pepper Tree Branch set with mother of pearl & Wisteria set with gold, glass, enamel and diamonds. Anemones haircomb set with gold and enamel. Three Brenton Women in ivory and enamel. Bears Comb set with gold and diamonds. Hazel Branch diadem set with gold, silver and moonstone.
Upon Rene Lalique’s death in 1945, Gublenkian stated, ” He ranks amongst the greatest figures in the history of art of all time and his masterful touch as well as his exquisite imagination, will excite the admiration of future cognoscenti.”