René Crevel

1892 / 1971

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René Crevel

From painting to the decorative arts and to architecture, René Crevel was a leading figure of the Art Deco movement.

René Crevel, the innovator

René Crevel was a French artist, an interior designer, architect and painter; born in Rouen on 23 February 1892, died on 2 December 1971 in Villeneuve-Loubet. He is one of the greatest Art Deco figures.
Like Herbst, Follot, Ruhlmann, Dufrène, etc., he played a major role in the revival of applied arts from 1920 to 1939. An innovative spirit, he made a decisive contribution to the birth and development of the Art Deco style.

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A Leading Light

A prolific artist, a decorative architect, painter and designer, René Crevel made a decisive contribution to the birth and development of the Art Deco style. An innovative spirit, he distinguished himself in numerous disciplines, tackling with equal success fields as different and demanding as architecture and interior design, furniture, wallpaper and fabric, carpets and tapestries, ceramics, enamel, stained glass and frescoes. Between the two wars, he produced remarkable creations for the prestigious French manufacturers of Sèvres and Limoges for porcelain; brassware and enamel for J. Sarlandie; wallpaper for Isidore Leroy, Essef, Geffroy and Nobilis; for Aubusson carpets and wall tapestries, and for Krieger, furniture.

An interior architect and designer, he designed the entire decoration of the Théâtre de l'Avenue (1924), fitted out the Hôtel de Paris and the Gustave Sandoz jewellery store (1928), the Tuileries restaurant and the Hôtel Continental, the Frigéco shop, the Portuguese tourist office (1931), and designed the Astoria hotel (1933). He designed the bar for the Técalémit company (1932). He designed numerous shop fronts, luxury boutiques, bars and brasseries...

As an architect, he built his villa in Saint-Cloud in 1926 in the purest modernist style. In 1930, his avant-garde project for roadside service stations was featured on the cover of the magazine Je sais tout. In 1937 he drew the plans for the Palais de l'Artisanat at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et des Techniques, then those for the Cité Ouvrière, a workers’ model village, to be built by the Laboratoires pharmaceutiques Debat in Garches. As a painter, he pursued a career that began in 1915 in the wake of the Nabis and Japonism, leaving more than 1000 works, oils, gouaches, watercolours and drawings. He created theatre sets and costumes, painted decorative panels and frescos...

René Crevel was awarded many prizes by the juries of the great exhibitions and shows of his time. In 1925 alone, five diplomas and medals crowned his participation in the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts. In 1929 he was awarded a Grand Prix diploma at the French Exhibition in Cairo, and in 1931 an Honorary Diploma at the Colonial Exhibition. In 1937, at the International Exhibition of Arts and Techniques, he was awarded two new diplomas of honour and two gold medals.


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Works by René Crevel in public collections