French Art Nouveau industrial designer, Eugène Gaillard abandoned a career in law for that of interior design and decoration.
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About his life
Eugène 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. In 1900 Bing featured Gaillard, along with other leading designers, at his ‘Pavillon de l’Art Nouveau‘ at the Paris Universal Exposition. All objects, furnishings and textiles shown at that exhibition 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.
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What kind of works did he produce?
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“. Gaillards textile designs are typical of most French designs of the period. There is an emphasis on mirror repeats and a muted tonal aspect to the colour schemes. These are very different from the striking graphic qualities of British textile design of the same period. He saw his textiles as being part of an ambiance, usually created by Siegfried Bing.