Fix-Masseau, the director of the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Limoges until 1935, was part of the modern decorative art movement in the late 19th century. He created objects which mingled fantasy and dream with an evocation of nature. Some elements, such as the woman's hair or the drapery, took on a strange importance.
Fix-Masseau added all kinds of materials to his works which intensified the decorative effect. He explored the expressive properties of ivory and ceramics and experimented with special patinas for bronze, making ink wells, candlesticks, vases...
His pronounced taste for the female figure associated with floral motifs, his fascination for the unusual and his interest in domestic objects make him a worthy representative of both Art Nouveau and Symbolism.
The Secret is a perfect illustration of this: a voluminous veil reveals more than covers the nudity of a female figure – a priestess or a magician – her face half hidden under the striking folds of the drapery.
The eye is immediately drawn to the ivory casket and the precious material goes well with the beautiful wood-like finish. With figures like this one the artist attracted the attention of people such as the founder Siot-Decauville, who produced a bronze version of The Secret.