Robert Mathieu (1921-2002) is one of the most talented creators and producers of French lighting from the 1950’s. He frequented 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. His first pieces rivaled ingenuity and were marked by his initial training in clock making.
Robert Mathieu knew many evolutions in his style but nevertheless stayed true to producing lighting of high precision. Working often for special commissions, his pieces have unique and unprecedented characteristics. He favored pure and supple lines which give his creations lightness and 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 new space in Bagnolet, just outside of Paris.
His first period of production (1950-1951) revealed a real finesse of execution. The polished brass rod structures as well as the system of double lamp shades are highly recognizable elements of this period. From 1953 Robert Mathieu created wall and ceiling lights with Perspex or lacquered aluminum 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 realized an illuminating head board and illuminating mirrors.
Robert Mathieu ceased his activity 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.