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René Lalique (1860-1945) has been called the greatest artist-jeweler since the Renaissance. In the 1890s, a time when most jewelers displayed diamonds and pearls in glittering profusion, Lalique began to create subtle, painterly effects by combining opals, baroque pearls, semi-precious colored stones, glass, and enamel.
He raised jewelry to the level of a fine art, using his amazing technical virtuosity to realize a very personal imagery based equally in dream and nature. Many of Lalique's jewels were unique masterpieces, some almost too eccentric to be worn. They were made for a select clientele of collectors and ladies of fashion. When these marvels were revealed to a wider public at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris, they brought Lalique fame throughout Europe and America.