Issue link: http://digital.slmag.net/i/793509
When he released his Bacchantes vase in 1927, René Jules Lalique was 67 and still riding a wave of success that had lasted an impressive four decades. His eponymous glassworks, based in Alsace, France, had received extraordinary acclaim at the 1925 International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts in Paris– an event that both established and gave a name to the Art Deco movement. Having launched his career in the Art Nouveau period of the late 19th century, Lalique bucked the trend of most artists of the period who favored a restrained nod to nature's elegance; instead challenging the notion that "sophisticated" equaled "simple". His jewelry designs were considered haute couture, and soon clients throughout the chic shopping districts of Paris clamored for his work. e Lalique name became synonymous with luxurious style, fine craftsmanship and top quality materials. Lalique's move into glass began largely as experimental work in his home; a hobby of sorts, afforded by his burgeoning jewelry shops in the early 1900s. As word of his glass production got out, he was commissioned by Coty, the top perfumer in France, to design and create intricate bottles for the brand. Never one to stagnate, Lalique honed his craft, focusing more and more on cutting-edge work with glass, using the delicate and relatively difficult medium as high art. The resulting prosperity sealed Lalique's destiny as the world's finest maker of art glass, with his original factory still producing today. e Bacchantes vase is considered by some art historians to be a narrative by a confident, established artist on the emerging, socially liberated woman of the 1920s. The dancing young priestesses of Bacchus, the Roman God of wine and pleasure, are depicted by Lalique as more sensual than depraved, reflecting the fading inhibitions in 1920s society and representing a then- current interpretation of the classic Roman myth. Since its original release, it has been a staple in the Lalique collection and has become a lasting symbol of Lalique's celebrated style. So, when the house of Lalique sought to honor the iconic vase (and enthusiastic collectors) in the 90th year since its release, company leadership made a brilliant decision to call Curating a Lifestyle: Reinterpreting a Classic Written by Amelia and Jeff Jeffers 38 slmag.net Left: Sirènes Vase by Terry Rodgers & Lalique, 2017. Right: Sirènes Vase, Lost Wax, 12.6 x 11 inches, by Terry Rodgers and Lalique, 2017. Numbered, signed and limited edition of eight. Green crystal & platinum. Exclusively at Harrods until May 7, 2017. Photos courtesy Lalique.