with small antique temples, lake with a fountain, greenery on the shore, woodland and doves
France, Paris – Hendaye, c.1927
Signed 'S.A. MAVMEJEANFres / PARIS-HENDAYE'
310 x 285 cm
Exquisite stained-glass window from the French Art Déco period
Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, Chicago
This leaded glazing depicts a classicistic landscaped garden, beneath a sky with several clouds that are reflected in the water of the lake, as well as a fountain, together with poplar trees in the background, the shape of which formally reflects that of the fountain’s rising water jet. Woodland trees, from which a flock of doves flies down, lean over the water from the right. Various flowers and plants line the foreshore of the lake and increase the impression of openness across the water towards the hilly land beyond, which lies before a vaguely perceptible horizon. The simplicity of this pictorial theme attains an unexpected vividness when sunlight brings the colours to life. The manner in which the tree trunks and the leaves are depicted is especially distinctive, and with their broad palette of brown, yellow, green, blue, red and violet glasses they are typical of the elegant patterning of the art déco period.
According to oral tradition, this leaded window comes from the old Lefèvre-Utile (LU) biscuit factory in Nantes, which was built in 1886 as an usine-palais (a factory palace), and closed in 1970. Designated part of France’s industrial heritage in 1997, the factory was converted into a cultural centre, which opened in 2000. If so, the window would have been an element of the architecture of a large, non-sacred building, and would have formed part of an external wall.
Benoît Manauté, La Manufacture De Vitrail Et Mosaïque D'Art MAUMÉJEAN - Flambe ! Illumine ! Embrase !, Éditions le festin, 2015, illustration p. 247