Musée d'Orsay: Emile Gallé Trois-épis Chair

Emile Gallé
Trois-épis Chair

Trois-épis Chair from the Les champs sitting room suite
Emile Gallé (1816-1904)
Trois-épis Chair from the Les champs sitting room suite
Walnut, original reversed kid leather upholstery
H. 111,5; W. 44,5 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / René-Gabriel Ojéda

Trois-épis Chair from the Les champs sitting room suite

Chaise Les trois-épis, salon Les champs [Trois-épis Chair from the Les champs sitting room suite]

In 1897, the doorway to Emile Gallé's cabinet-making workshops proclaimed: "My roots are deep in the woods", a statement of faith illustrated in 1900 when the salon Les champs was presented at the Universal Exhibition.
In November of that year he published an article devoted to "contemporary furniture decorated according to nature", at the top of which he reproduced the seat and a chair from this sitting room suite with the evocative title: "Sitting room furniture decorated in the image of cereal plants, poppies, potato flowers and May wheat, with cushions of inlaid leather". "Let us imagine" he continued, "that we have to decorate the back of a sofa. What is to stop us taking cereals or their flowers as a theme? […] If instead of a padded back we prefer one in decorated wood openwork, we might well take inspiration for the design from the overlapping stems of wheat, adapted to working in wood, symmetrically positioned by the breeze or curved in sheaves of ripe corn." These were the ideas of a botanist as much as a poet. Even the poppies that brighten up the fields of ripe corn are also present by their seedpods, the signature of this furniture maker from Nancy.

Enlarge font size Reduce font size Print