The eighty pieces now presented in this album are exhibited in a room especially dedicated to the work of René Lalique, a space that chronologically closes the itinerary of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. The set of jewels, drawings, objets d’art and glassware acquired by the Collector directly from the artist, with a single exception, between 1899 and 1927, is well representative of Lalique’s work. René Lalique (1860-1945) and Calouste Gulbenkian (1869-1955) shared the experience of a time marked by the fascinating transition of the so-called Belle Époque – with its particular end-of-the-century spirit, present mainly on the remarkable set of Art Nouveau works. Both men were tied by friendship and mutual consideration, well evidenced in the words of the Collector: “My admiration for his unique work increased throughout the fifty years our friendship lasted… I am proud to own, I believe, the largest number of Lalique’s works…”.
Maria Fernanda Passos Leite is head curator at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, in charge of the Textile department and she is also responsible for the works of René Lalique in the Gulbenkian Collection.