Winner of the Ecole Supérieure Nationale des Beaux-arts gold medal, Chrystiane Charles is recognized as one of the most creative bronze artists and sculptors in lighting.
Born on August 2, 1927 in Pantin, she honed her talent with Gimont, Janniot and Saupique before joining the family business created in 1908 by Ernest Charles. She was president of Charles for nearly twenty-five years (1959-1982), during which time she safeguarded the Charles spirit as artistic director.
Her signed and numbered artistic creations draw their unique inspiration from nature, to shed a magical light on the world of plants and flowers. Whether lit or dark, her poppy seeds, lily pads, feuille d’eau, iris, ferns, coral, bamboo, water lilies, sunflowers and tropical blooms come to life through their textures and reflections. Nature in bronze. Charles has adopted a new signature: "Charles, sculptor of light." From sketch to plaster mould to the noble bronze itself, each piece reflects the workshop’s long expertise in handcrafting. Through the unique expertise of her chasers, turners and setters, Chrystiane Charles creates more than three hundred models.
Founded by Ernest Charles in 1908 under the name Maison Charles, Charles Paris specializes in the reproduction of antique lighting. With the years, the company has built a strong reputation among the bronze casting profession.
His two sons, Jean (First-Class Honours graduate from the Ecole Boulle) and Jacques (Applied Arts graduate) join their father in the family business in the late '50s. Together they design the most distinctive elements that will characterize the "Lampes Charles" style.
The '60s were marked by the huge success of the "Collection Inox" created by Jacques Charles. The collection becomes an aesthetic reference for that period.
In 1971, Chrystiane Charles, Gold Medal winner at the Ecole Supérieure Nationale des Beaux-Arts section Sculpture, takes over the family business and creates the collection that bears its name.
In the '80s, Maison Charles is awarded numerous prizes and joins the Comité Colbert that groups the most prestigious French art trade and design companies, consolidating in this way the company’s reputation for quality.
In 2001, Maison Charles is taken over by Michael Wagner who becomes chairman of the company. The workshops are relocated in Saint-Denis (a northern suburb of Paris), in the premises of the former workshops of the famous silversmithing brand, Christofle.
Since 2006 Philippe Parent has assumed the role of artistic director of the company. He has modernized several iconic pieces of the collection and has commissioned renowned designers to complete the collection with contemporary designs.
At the workshop, ten devoted craftsmen carry on hundred years of exceptional know-how. A tradition of excellence that has become duty. Dictated by the passion of men concerned about dedicating their talent and expertise to design a unique lamp: a home jewel that sculpts light.
Each piece is the work of a true master craftsman. Imagined, designed, poured, engraved, filed, polished, glazed, processed, degreased, varnished by talented craftsmen. A brilliant feat of craftsmanship carried out with the utmost care.
Beyond time and style, quality excellence constitutes Charles' main value.
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