Papillons (Butterflies)

Émile Gallé1892 - 1904

Maryhill Museum of Art

Maryhill Museum of Art

Émile Gallé was captivated by American expatriate dancer Loïe Fuller. Introduced to her performances by a mutual friend, Roger Marx, he found correlations between nature and the way Fuller manipulated her silks. In 1897, Gallé wrote his friend, artist Francois Rupert Carabin, and asked for photographs of Carabin’s sculptural series of Fuller dancing. Gallé may have been thinking about producing a work based on her performances. In this vase, he used metallic inclusions and powdered color glass to evoke a stylized form of a butterfly in the open air. The image, with wings outstretched, owes much to Fuller’s performance of the Butterfly (1892), with which she took Paris by storm.

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  • Title: Papillons (Butterflies)
  • Creator: Émile Gallé
  • Date: 1892 - 1904
  • Location: Nancy, France
  • Physical Dimensions: w7 x h15 x d7 in (complete)
  • Media: glass
  • Credit Line: Gift of Alma De Bretteville Spreckels
  • Provenance: Collection of Maryhill Museum of Art
  • Type: Glassware
  • Rights: http://www.maryhillmuseum.org/discover/about-maryhill-museum-of-art/press-room/images-for-publication