Robert Mathieu (1921-2002) was one of the most talented designers and producers of lighting fixtures of the 1950s. He attended the Ecole Boulle before starting a career as a watchmaker in 1938. In 1949, he began creating lighting fixtures at 98 boulevard Charonne, which would remain his flagship shop. His first pieces rivaled each other in ingenuity and were marked by his initial training in watchmaking.

Robert Mathieu experienced several evolutions in his style but remained committed to producing high precision lighting. Working regularly for private commissions, his pieces have a unique and original character. He favours pure and supple lines that give his creations elegance and lightness.

In 1955, he bought the name “LE LUMINAIRE PARISIEN” from René Mathieu and found himself at the head of three establishments in Paris. Seeing his activity evolve and grow, he was even forced to find new premises in Bagnolet.

His first production period (1950-1951) reveals a real finesse of execution. The gilded brass rods and the double shade system are recognisable elements of this period. From 1953 onwards, Robert Mathieu created wall and ceiling lights with perspex or lacquered aluminium reflectors. The end of the 1950s was marked by the use of counterweights. These were the last very pure lights before the radical change of style in the 1960s.

Under the name “R. Mathieu Luminaires Rationnels”, he produced lighting fixtures for major designers including Michel Buffet. His meeting with Jean-Boris Lacroix also inspired him in his work. He collaborates with him on various projects. His biggest commissions were from the Grand Hôtel du Louvre and the Hôtel Concorde Lafayette, for which he created a luminous headboard and illuminated mirrors.

He ceased his activity in 1978. His products are distributed in France, Algeria and Morocco by his fellow students of the Boulle school who have become decorators, among them René Fray and André Beaudoin.

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