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Émile Gallé

Émile Gallé is largely considered to be one of the driving forces behind the entirety of the Art Nouveau movement in France and abroad. His designs, combined with innovative techniques, made him one of the pioneering glass makers of his generation. His glassmaking and artistic style was influential to other top Art Nouveau artists of the time, with pieces that revolutionized the art of glassmaking by combining techniques such as enameling, cameo, inlay, and more. Nature was his main source of inspiration, each piece featuring the balances of the natural world, and with a genius to seize the accidental and use it. Gallé moved to open a small woodworkers shop in 1885, where he began experimenting in marquetry designs in furniture of his own. The plants that adorn his pieces are highly varied, and insects were a frequent theme, with many of his pieces containing butterflies, dragonflies, and beetles. Determined to make Art Nouveau style known worldwide, he founded the “École de Nancy” to promote the Art Nouveau style, and create a union between art and industry. His artwork lives on in almost every museum around the world.