Louis Majorelle (1859–1926, French)
Atelier Majorelle, Nancy, France
walnut wood and cloth upholstery
39 x 50 1/2 x 21 inches (settee); 37 3/4 x 23 x 23 1/2 inches (armchairs); 36 1/8 x 17 3/4 x 19 (side chairs)
Furniture making ran in the Majorelle family. Louis Majorelle, after his father’s death in the late 1870s, inherited his father’s furniture business in Nancy, a small town 200 southeast of Paris. Louis Majorelle was also a founder, along with fellow designer Émile Gallé, of the École de Nancy in 1901. The Art Nouveau designers of the École de Nancy were inspired by Japonisme (a French take on the Japanese aesthetic) and nature—like all Art Nouveau designers—but were also influenced by Baroque and Rococo styles of the 17th and 18th centuries. This historical inspiration was unique to Art Nouveau of the École de Nancy. This furniture suite, like most of Majorelle’s chairs, is influenced by the Louis XVI style of the 18th century, but its wood frame is classic Art Nouveau with curving plant stalks, vines, leaves and fruit.
ON VIEW in Art Nouveau Gallery 4
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art