This piece of furniture, titled The Blood of Armenia or The Field of Blood, which was the title Gallé himself gave to his entry for the World Exhibition in 1900, is a striking testimony to the artist from Nancy’s concern for the Armenians persecuted by the Ottoman sultan Abdul-Hamid.

The choice of woods, (Turkish walnut for the frame, and peach wood, Armenia’s national tree, for the marquetry) and the composition of the decoration which displays tulips flattened and swept away by the wind, are very evocative. On the sides, cities in flames and silhouettes of minarets clearly reveal the location of the depicted scene.

A quote by Victor Hugo taken from The Legend of Ages (XXXIII. Le cercle de tyrans), “Beware of obscure equity, beware”, underlines the symbolic content of the furniture and rings out like a warning.

This commode reveals the humanist side of Émile Gallé, who was an active artist, an ardent defender of human rights and a resolute supporter of Captain Dreyfus.  It also confirms the comments by the art critic Roger Marx, according to whom Gallé was a man in three parts (“homo triplex”): a glassmaker, ceramicist and cabinetmaker.

D. M.

City of Paris municipal collection's website

City of Paris municipal collection's website

The collections portal can be used to search the collections of Paris’s 14 municipal museums (approximately 336,000 works, including 43,000 belonging to the Petit Palais).

It is also possible to download around 12,000 images of the museum’s works free of charge.

Access the Museums of the City of Paris collections portal
Autre base documentaire

Extern databases

Discover a selection of databases online presenting works from the Petit Palais or documents concerning the history of the museum.