Tiffany, Louis Comfort

Louis Comfort Tiffany had a discerning artistic eye, and his genius for design extended far beyond the exceptional lamps and windows for which he is known. Tiffany was also a talented interior designer and launched his decorating business, Louis C. Tiffany & Associated Artists in 1878. He received commissions to create furniture from several prominent clients, including the Seventh Regiment Armory, Madison Square Theatre, and the Union League Club. A serious collector of European, Moorish, and Oriental furnishings, Tiffany designed furnishings with a distinct Arts and Crafts feel. Designing each piece to match the feel of the room in which it belonged, Tiffany's aesthetic was a direct reaction to the mass-produced furniture that was beginning to flood the market in the late 19th century.


Tiffany Glass


Louis Comfort Tiffany is internationally recognized as a master of the American decorative arts. Considered to be the driving force behind the Art Nouveau style in America, Tiffany worked with nearly every decorative medium imaginable, even serving as the first Design Director for his father's Tiffany & Co., but it is his personal triumphs in glassmaking that garnered the artist his highest recognition.


Though Tiffany first started his experiments with stained glass in 1875, it was not until 10 years later that he opened Tiffany Glass Company, which was later changed to Tiffany Studios in 1900. By that time, he was already the leading art glass producer in the country, serving wealthy New Yorkers and commissioning massive windows for Mark Twain, Cornelius Vanderbilt and even the White House. Due to Tiffany's ability to create incredible details in his windows using solely the qualities of his unique glass, a technique displayed in this striking Tiffany Figural Window, these masterpieces soon became known as "paintings in glass."


Tiffany's discovery of what he coined "favrile" glass (derived from and old English word meaning "handcrafted") in 1881 catapulted his reputation. The favrile technique produced glass that is iridescent and freely shaped, which he then combined with bronze and other metals to get the desired translucency, as seen in this incredible "Jack in the Pulpit" Vase. The exquisitely dichroic combination of his distinctive favrile glass and the matchless vibrancy of his stained glass gives Tiffany's legendary lamps, in particular, an unrivaled beauty. This awe-inspiring Tiffany Peony Table Lamp transforms into a brilliant, almost pulsating medium when viewed by transmitted light. So beautiful and true to the essence of nature, that Tiffany himself stated that his lamps allowed people to enjoy the elements of nature all year long in the beauty of his glass.


At the time of Tiffany's death in 1933, the floral opulence of Art Nouveau gave way to the sleek styling of Art Deco. It was not until the late 1960s that Tiffany Studios' lamps came back into demanding popularity. Now, the beauty, rarity and uniqueness of Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios are honored and treasured throughout the world, confirming the artist's legacy as a visionary of the Art Nouveau movement.


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