Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933)

Louis Comfort Tiffany is the eponymous Art Nouveau stained glass artist who was also a painter, craftsman, philanthropist, decorator and designer. Internationally acknowledged as one of the greatest forces of the Art Nouveau style, Tiffany made significant contributions to the art of glassmaking and for the revival of the Art Nouveau style in the 1960s.

The son of famous jeweler Charles Lewis Tiffany, Louis Tiffany studied with American painters George Inness and Samuel Coleman the art of narrative painting in Paris. During his time abroad, Tiffany visited Morocco and the country s influence is evident in many Tiffany stained glass works such as Magnolia and Irises.

Tiffany s stained glass experiments began in 1875 and three years later he had his own glassmaking factory in New York City. By the 1890s, Tiffany was a leading glassmaker because of his unique coloring methods. International fame resulted from the glass he called Favrile, which translates roughly as handmade from old French. Tiffany s Favrile Glass was iridescent and shaped freely with faux bronze alloys and other metals.

Tiffany signed his original stained glass artwork L.C. Tiffany or simply L.C.T. These pieces became immensely popular, especially in central Europe where it became quite fashionable during the late 19th and early 20th century and during an Art Nouveau revival in the 1960s.

The French Art Nouveau designer mile Gall s 1889 exhibition in Paris featured a blown glass display that greatly influenced Tiffany. From 1896 to 1900, Tiffany created a vast amount of blown Favrile glass pieces with mysterious and impressionistic effects.

In 1900, Tiffany s glass factory became known as Tiffany Studios and he ventured into lamps, jewelry, pottery and bibelots. Tiffany s lamps were called glowing fantasies and like his Favrile art glass, they took top prizes at major expositions during the early 20th century.


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