The decorative arts 

Art Nouveau


Coming into Chez Julien is like entering another world, a fantasy world. We are in 1901, the Universal Exhibition just finished a few months ago, and Art Nouveau, a natural art style, was unveiled there.


As soon as you enter, you see the young Bacchus, god of wine with bunches of grapes on his head, on top of the columns, inviting you to join the celebration, and also to discover love.

To the right, the elegant mahogany bar, with its traditional zinc top, is inspired by Louis Majorelle, great cabinet maker from the School of Nancy.




Trézel and Ségaud’s decorations


At the back of the room are Armand Ségaud’s two great peacocks in pâte de verre symbolising the return of Spring. Other peacocks can be seen hiding behind a mantelpiece, among the flowers. On the ceiling, herons frolic, the Greek phoenix, who, according to mythology, is constantly reborn. A coloured frieze runs around the top of the wall, with globe artichokes and dandelion leaves that brighten the plaster mouldings with their colours.


Between the mirrors, four nymphs illustrate the cycle of the seasons. Master glazier Louis Tréziel made these great decorations in pâte de verre. They are: on the left of the entrance, Spring holding a cherry branch with blossom heralding rebirth; then Summer with red poppies in her hair; to the right Autumn and her chrysanthemums, and finally winter with her delicate Christmas roses.




Faience and glassware


When you look up towards the large mirrors, you see flowers again, but this time, imaginary ones. They were created by Georges Guenne’s firm in 1924. They were designed by Charles Buffet, grandfather of painter Bernard Buffet*.


On the floor, you walk on a meadow of wild columbines and marguerites, flowering in an eternal springtime. Our steps cannot crush their petals. This profusion of flowers was made by Hippolyte Boulenger’s Choisy-le-Roi pottery, whose Parisian headquarters was nearby. It was also Boulenger who, a quarter of a century later, would produce the floor at La Coupole in Montparnasse.

In the language of flowers, the marguerite means: “I love you!” Ivy symbolises love that never dies...


* It is his family who confirmed this surprising connection to us.


Thomas Dufresne