The Calouste Gulbenkian Collection boasts around 200 objects by René Lalique, including 82 jewels, purchased directly from the artist by the collector himself.
The room exclusively dedicated to Lalique’s jewellery and glass objects has assumed three different presentations to date: the first on the opening of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in 1969; the second in the 1990s; and a third in 2000, as part of an extended project to refurbish the museum.
Now, after 20 years, it became necessary to look again at the room in order to rethink the space, while offering a reinterpretation of the artist’s work, showcasing his ideas, multiple sources of inspiration and the renowned originality of his creations, qualities which led him to becoming known as ‘the inventor of modern jewellery’.
Each section of the display has been specially designed to showcase and highlight the diversity of the artist’s favoured themes – from exuberant nature recreated through the use of unusual materials, to the female figure in its multiple manifestations.
The art of glassmaking, which Lalique embraced exclusively from 1912 onwards, is thoroughly re-examined in this project, reflecting an ever-present concern in the artist’s production during both the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods: the search for transparency.