• France, c. 1899–1900
  • Bronze frame
  • Inv. 1263

‘Serpents’ mirror

René Lalique

Framed by two bronze serpents with gaping mouths and thin, erect bodies, the base of this mirror is formed by the coiled tails of the reptiles in a gesture that is highly characteristic of Art Nouveau taste. The symbolic theme of the serpent, associated with the female figure, is another constant element in Lalique’s work and is well represented in the Gulbenkian Collection, not only in jewellery pieces but also in a range of other objects.

As a reproduction from a magazine of the period makes clear, this piece made a strong impression on visitors to the artist's studio in his house on Cours-la-Reine. Later, it would come to form part of the bedroom furnishings in Calouste Gulbenkian’s Paris house.

Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian from René Lalique, 1923.

H. 169 cm

Leite 2008

Maria Fernanda Passos Leite, René Lalique at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisbon/Milan: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum/Skira, 2008, pp. 106–7, cat. 60.