Drawing, Design for a Corsage Ornament: Night
This is a Drawing. It was designed by René Lalique. It is dated ca. 1900 and we acquired it in 1998. Its medium is brush and watercolor, graphite, brush and gouache on brownish, translucent wove paper, possibly coated with resin. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.
René Lalique explored allegorical themes in his jewelry designs, influenced primarily by depictions of the natural world in Japanese design of the period. This design for a corsage ornament depicts an allegory of time. Two female nudes—both personifications of Night—toss diamond stars into an evening sky conveyed by sapphires and diamond stars. This drawing is the only visual record of a lost fantastical jewel that was first presented at the 1900 l’Exposition Universelle in Paris. Displayed beneath a decorative canopy of stars and bats, the jewel cemented Lalique’s reputation as a preeminent designer of jewelry in the Art Nouveau style. His designs frequently incorporated flowers, insects, animals and nude forms using sumptuous materials, including gold, silver, diamonds, and pearls. But, like his contemporary Fabergé, he also helped popularize humble gemstones and materials such as enamel, jasper, ivory, coral, and glass. Actress Sarah Bernhardt was among the most famous wearers of Lalique’s highly-coveted jewelry.
It is credited
Museum purchase from Drawings and Prints Council Fund through gift of The Florence Gould Foundation.
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Its dimensions are
21.9 x 27.9 cm (8 5/8 x 11 in.)
It has the following markings
Watermark: B RIVES
Cite this object as
Drawing, Design for a Corsage Ornament: Night; Designed by René Lalique (French, 1860–1945); France; brush and watercolor, graphite, brush and gouache on brownish, translucent wove paper, possibly coated with resin; 21.9 x 27.9 cm (8 5/8 x 11 in.); Museum purchase from Drawings and Prints Council Fund through gift of The Florence Gould Foundation; 1998-50-1