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Recuperating fragments of Art Nouveau

 

Emile Gallé (1846-1904) has been one of the most important creators of "art nouveau" in the field of applied arts. After the closure of his company in 1931, Montessy, one of the most devoted disciples of Gallé, married a Romanian lady, and together they took up residence in Azuga in the Valley of Prague in Romania.

With the help of efficient glassworkers from Bohemia and Czechoslovakia and using the technique of Gallé, Montessy was able to realize a serie of important objects which he put on the market using his own name.

With the arrival of communism, the workmanship of Montessy was taken over by the State, and all of the existing production at that moment was confiscated. The authority wanted to promote and defend the technique of Gallé-Montessy and opened factories in various parts of the country. But only one was in the position to reproduce the perfection of the original technique of producing polychrome, multi-layered, chemically engraved glass.

After the fall of communism, it became private property and the Montessy-Gallé production started up again with the best specialists. Thanks to their talent and technological knowledge they succeeded in making objects with the same quality and beauty as those original pieces that were executed by Gallé.

The creation of such an object is long and laborious. The specialist, who reached perfection after many many years of experience, starts with the process of transparent glass-blowing and shaping the desired form. Repeating the same procedure, the first layer is covered with other layers of glass. Each of these layers has a different colour, chosen by the artist, which later becomes decoration.

Once after the required layers are blown, the dark coloured object, almost black, undergoes a severe quality control: the percentage of rejected objects is high, due to the fact that each of the various layers comes into contact with different temperatures, thus causing large problems with tension.

Once control is completed the object is then given over to the design artist. With much patience and weeks of work, the painter first designs the subject, then, thanks to a special acid, the object is engraved at different depths until the desired colour is achieved.

Approximately after a month of work for a vase of average size, the finished result is represented by beautiful polychrome works of art which can be viewed on this Internet site.