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Eugène Gaillard

Eugène Gaillard

*  1862 Paris
† 1933 Paris

Eugène Gaillard, the brother of the celebrated Paris jeweler Lucien Gaillard, started out by studying jurisprudence but only practised law briefly. Instead he felt drawn to sculpture and later also distinguished himself as a craftsman and furniture designer. Eugène Gaillard became a leading Art nouveau artist of his day, maintaining ties with Siegfried Bing, who marketed Eugène Gaillard's designs for interiors, furnishings and textiles at his gallery, Maison de l'Art Nouveau. The celebrated German art dealer in Paris had a pavilion of his own, "Art Nouveau Bing", at the 1900 Paris Exposition, in which six model rooms simulated living environments. Faithful to the Art nouveau tenet of architecture and interior decoration as a total work of art, Siegfried Bing invented the principle of "creating an ambience" at his exhibitions. Each object shown was to be presented in place in a context replicating the purpose for which it was intended; the natural and organic environment of all things in their proper place was to be clearly demonstrated. All objects shown at that exhibition, including furnishings and textiles as well as objets de vertu, were designed by three artists: Edward Colonna, Georges de Feure and Eugène Gaillard. Until 1914 Eugène Gaillard continued to design furniture in the Art nouveau style; his pieces were notably elegant and indeed exquisite. Although his forms and motifs were definitely floral in inspiration, they did not represent imitations of nature. Eugène Gaillard explained his approach to furniture design in the 1906 essay "À Propos du Mobilier". In 1901 Eugène Gaillard was a co-founder of the Société des Artistes Décorateurs, at whose Salon exhibitions he also showed his work.