MathieuRobert

Biography

Robert Mathieu is one of the most talented creators and producers of French lighting from the 1950's. He was at the Boulle school of applied arts before beginning a career as a clockmaker in 1938. In 1949 he debuted his creations at 98 boulevard Charonne which would remain his flagship store.

Mathieu entertained many evolutions of style but nevertheless stayed true to producing lighting of high precision and quality. Working often for special commissions, his pieces have unique and unprecedented characteristics. He favoured pure and supple lines which give his creations lightness and a special elegance.

In 1955 he bought the logo " Le Luminaire Parisien" from René Mathieu and found himself at the head of three establishments in Paris. Seeing his activity progress and develop, he was compelled to find a larger space in Bagnolet, just outside of Paris. His first period of production (1950-1951) revealed a real finesse of execution and the polished brass rod structures, as well as the system of double lamp shades, are highly recognisable elements from this period. From 1953 he created wall and ceiling lights with Perspex or lacquered aluminium reflectors. The end of the 1950's is marked by the use of the counterweight system, the last ‘pure' lighting before the radical change of style in the 1960’s.

Under the name " R. Mathieu Luminaires Rationnels" ("R. Mathieu Rational Lighting") he edited lighting for well-known designers such as Michel Buffet. Jean-Boris Lacroix also inspired much of his work as he collaborated with Lacroix on numerous projects. His most important commissions were ordered by Le Grand Hotel du Louvre and the Hotel Concord Lafayette for which he created an illuminating head board and illuminating mirrors.

Robert Mathieu retired in 1978. His productions were distributed in France, Algeria and Morocco by his colleagues from the Ecole Boulle who had become decorators, including René Fray and André Beaudoin. He died in 2002.

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