A Creative Expression of Luxury

Innovative Lighting Designs

A photograph of this design in the bound archives from the collection of Professor Micha Djordevic.

Jean Royère is unique in the pantheon of designers of the 20th century.  His work is typified by custom, bespoke designs for elite clients and interiors and the work is as fresh today as it was when first introduced over 60 years ago.  His work went beyond Paris, with showrooms and commissions in the Middle East, South America and North Africa as well as across France. As a lighting designer, his output is unparalleled in France by the range of innovative forms such as the Liane floor lamp, a completely new concept in lighting design at the time. Interested in the gracious dispersion of light within the interior space, Royère created an aesthetic experience for living in both the private and public realms. He was charged with redesigning the ambient lighting of the Fouquets restaurant on the Champs-Elysees, Paris that is still active today. The work of Jean Royère is not technical; it is extremely imaginative and sculptural. It is a creative expression of luxury incorporated into the whole interior design concept.

This floor lamp is one of only a few known examples of this design. Like many of his designs, the present lamp is not purely rationalist in terms of functionality; however the expressive aspects are not superfluous. Appearing like an elongated heart, the structure stands at the same scale as a human figure, with the glowing cylindrical light source at the height of the human heart. This rare work appears in the bound archives Jean Royère maintained of his designs of which two copies are known; one is found at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs at the Louvre and the second originated with the collection of Professor Micha Djordevic, partner of Jean Royère. 

Storefront for the Jean Royère Gallery located at rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, Paris. Photo courtesy of the Archives Jean Royère, Galerie Jacques Lacoste.

I always had a thing about interior design...as a child I did not want toys: I asked to be allowed to decorate a room. 

—Jean Royère

Jean Royère

At the age of twenty-nine, Jean Royère left his comfortable position as a banker with a law degree to pursue his long-held passion for design. He immersed himself in the every aspect of the trade, studying cabinet making in the workshops of the Faubourg Saint Antoine in Paris and making furniture for family and friends in his spare time. In 1934 he took on his first important commission designing a new layout for the Brasserie Carlton on the Champs Elysée and he exhibited at the famed Salon d’Automne. In 1937, Royère exhibited his designs at the Société des Artistes Décorateurs officially launching his career as designer and he opened his own firm in 1943. Favoring strong lines and organic forms, Royère designed each piece of furniture to contribute to the overall interior, but his use of rich materials and luxurious forms made for designs that could also stand alone. His lush creations were favored by a variety of high profile clients across Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. His agency in Cairo, opened in 1946, attracted wealthy and powerful patrons including King Farouk, King Hussein of Jordan and the Shah of Iran. While the aftershock of the war caused many consumers to desire an old-world aesthetic, Royère stayed true to his modern sensibilities and he continued to design works to suit elegant interiors. His long and celebrated career was marked with a major show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in 1999, eighteen years after his death in 1981.

Auction Results Jean Royère