Ashtead Art Lovers Monthly Talks

11 a.m. and 7.30 p.m.

£10 inc refreshments. The same price since 2007.

Tel: 01372 272235 to book, or email.

Friday 27th September: René Lalique (1860-1945) & other jewellers of the Art Nouveau period.

This corsage is an example of the work of René Lalique and when I saw it earlier this year I was mesmerised by its sinister beauty and the exquisite workmanship. The cabinet sits in the centre of a room dedicated to Lalique in the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.

Dragonfly brooch by Rene Lalique: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum,, Lisbon. Image source: Wikipedia.

Together with a friend of some forty years, I spent the day in this fabulous building, which is divided into two sections – the 20th century and before. The collection before 1900 houses countless works of art from ancient Islamic glass, Persian carpets, Chinese ceramics, French furniture and of course medieval paintings and sculpture right through to the Impressionists.

When you think you have finished absorbing the beauty of all of this part of the collection and are about to grab a coffee, there is the René Lalique room. What a collection of stunning vases, corsages, rings, and various objects d’art made by this jeweller of La Belle Epoque!

Last month we looked at the wider aspects of design known as Art Nouveau, but this time we will explore the objects made by Lalique and his contemporaries such as Charles Fouquet, Alfred van Cleef, the Russian designer – Carl Faberge and other older jewellers such as Cartier. Who were these jewellers designing for and why do we still ooh and aah at their work?

Telephone 01372 272235 or email  to book.

£10 inc refreshments. The same price since 2007.

1st NovemberThere be Dragons! An examination of images of this mythical beast and other grotesques in the margins of illumination manuscripts

Details to follow