Musée d'Orsay: Louis Majorelle Corner seat

Louis Majorelle
Corner seat

Corner seat
Louis Majorelle (1859-1926)
Corner seat
Mahogany-stained walnut, modern upholstery
H. 62.4; W. 94; D. 47,2 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Corner seat

Like Emile Gallé, Louis Majorelle took his inspiration from the outlines of plant forms for the base, uprights and crosspieces in his furniture. However, he generally gave them a more curved profile than Gallé achieved.

Here, Majorelle keeps to the theme of the water lily, with which he had great success at the 1900 Universal Exhibition. The rounded seat, as well as the design of the armrests, evokes the large leaves of the water lily resting on the water. Certainly this aquatic motif was a suitable decoration for the Eaux bleues, Eugène Corbin's summer residence, which was started in 1887 and furnished in an Art Nouveau style between 1900 and 1910. The bedroom was completely fitted out with wood panels with seats fitted into them (the Musée d'Orsay has another similar example).

Eugène Corbin, who owned the Magasins Réunis in Nancy, and who continually gave great encouragement to artists, artisans and manufacturers, making the top floor of the store freely available for artists to exhibit or work there, was one of the patrons of the Ecole de Nancy. Moreover, since 1963 his house has been the home of the Ecole de Nancy museum.

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