Skip to content

Gabriel Argy-Rousseau “Aquatic Plants” Pâte-de-Verre Night Light

Argy Rousseau's decorative style reached its apogee in his Pâte-de-Verre “Aquatic Plants” night light. The lamp is artfully decorated with a frieze of Heart-leaved Pontederia. Most notably illustrated by Pierre-Joseph Redouté for Empress Josephine, Pontederia was an ornamental aquatic plant taken from France’s colonies in the Americas and cultivated in royal greenhouses. Argy Rousseau has stylized the ultramarine and crimson pontederia leaves into ionic volutes, referencing his Greek wife’s heritage. Each pontederia flower is made to overlap like the streams of a fountain. Fountains were ubiquitous motifs in 1924, appearing in the oeuvre of Edgar Brandt, Dunand and Rousseau. The motif was utilized in promotion of the 1925 World’s Fair, in which the centerpiece was a 45 foot glass fountain by René Lalique.

Add to Wishlist

  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: EL-20752
Artist: Gabriel Argy-Rousseau
Country: France
Circa: 1924
Dimensions: 7" high
Materials: Glass
Signed: G. Argy Rousseau
Literature: Janine Bloch Dermant & Yves Delaborde, "Gabriel Argy-Rousseau, catalog raisonné", amateur editions, 1990, model reproduced on pages 115 and 199, referenced under the number "24.21".

Argy-Rousseau's near unique ability to gracefully soften the starkness of Art Deco design without ever sacrificing strength of design is on full display in this remarkable, petite masterpiece.