Pierre Chareau is an architect, furniture designer and art lover. He is little known at that time because he preferred to work for a circle of friends. He seeks to combine simplicity of form and functionality, without fearing the technical difficulties. In 1923 he designed two resolutely innovative models of furniture, the Table Eventail equipped with rotating trays and the Lampe Religieuse.
The Religieuse is a floor lamp 1.80 m high. The tall tapered base made of a single sheet of folded metal is a technical feat of the blacksmith Louis Dalbet. The alabaster shade looks like a complex shape although it is composed of only four identical triangles oriented in staggered rows.
This model was probably inspired by the cubist sculptures of Lipchitz. The resemblance of the lampshade with a nun's cornet may be unintentional but it has given an easy identification and a lasting fame to this unprecedented model.
The metal base is made in very small quantities in 1923 and 1924. The exact figure is not known. One of these lamps is estimated $ 800K for sale by Christie's in New York on June 20, lot 11.
The later production is in wood. The Chwast collection included a pair in mahogany dissociated by Sotheby's on November 21, 2016 for € 1.08M and 850K including premium over lower estimates of € 300K each.
The Exposition Internationale takes place in 1925. Its influence is considerable with in parallel the craze for the Art Déco style and the path to modernism. Chareau participates reluctantly, regretting that luxury dominates over mass production. He is thus a predecessor of Jean Prouvé.
The theories of Le Corbusier appear at that exhibition. For stating the inseparable character of architecture and furniture, he defines them jointly as a machine to live in. Chareau, Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray, Francis Jourdain and Auguste Perret invented the modern furniture around 1925 in Paris.
SOLD for $ 2.17M including premium