Le Débat éternel (The Eternal Debate)

Le Débat éternel (The Eternal Debate)

Notice of Upcoming Content and Access Change

The Museum is working on the future of our online collections access. A new version will be available later in 2023. During this transition period, the current version of the Collections Browser may have reduced functionality and data may be not be updated. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. For any questions or concerns, please contact us.

What is AAT?

The Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) (r) is a structured vocabulary for generic concepts related to art and architecture. It was developed by The Getty Research Institute to help research institutions become consistent in the terminology they use.Learn More

Object Name: 
Le Débat éternel (The Eternal Debate)
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 13 cm, Diam (max): 14.4 cm
On Display
about 1889-1898
Web Description: 
Here, the battle between a white pelican and a savage, dark pterodactyl is symbolic of the battle between the forces of good and evil. This vase noir (dark vase) is made of Galle’s brown verre hyalite (hyalith glass). The vase is also what Gallé called a verrerie parlante, or “speaking” glass. It is inscribed with lines from a well-known poem by the Romantic poet Alfred de Vigny (1797–1863): “Si ton coeur, gémissant du poids de notre vie, Se traîne et se débat comme un aigle blessé. . . (If your heart, moaning under the weight of our life, drags itself struggling like a wounded eagle. . . ).
Grover Antiques Inc., Source
Si ton Coeur, gémissant du poids de notre vie/Se traîne et se débat comme un Aigle blessé.../ A. de Vigny
Primary Description: 
Opaque brown over colorless glasses; blown, cased, acid-etched, cut, and engraved. Vase with flattened bulbous body, straight slightly flared neck, and straight foot; neck has stylized cameo carved cloud form within which head and wings of a pelican have been intaglio carved into colorless layer creating a milky white image with sepia shading, background of relief has martelé treatment and scattered incised concentric "C" shapes suggesting clouds, the forms of scattered, elongated diagonal bubbles are repeated by engraved marks giving the effect of driving rain, horizontal engraved streaks of varying lengths and widths are also scattered throughout background; remaining non-relief area of neck background has continuous lateral band of irregularly scalloped polishing suggesting sky seen through clouds; body has cameo carved pterodactyl with wings curving around entire circumference and meeting at a point, on shoulder surface flanking the creature's open bill are engraved in two lines "Si ton Coeur, gemissant du poids de notre vie/Se traine et se debat comme un Aigle (stylized "A" forms spiral) blesse.../ A. de Vigny", background extending to thick foot is martelé treated with broad streaks of polishing. Finely inscribed on base "Emile Gallé; fect"; Nancy with elongated "N"; in relief is Cross of Lorraine flanked by initials "E G" with broadly inscribed shield adjoined by inscribed floral motif.
Emīru gare no garasu: ketteiban; エミール・ガレのガラス : 決定版 / 山根郁信編 (2019) illustrated, p. 62;
Recent Important Acquisitions, 26 (1984) illustrated, p. 145, #30; BIB# AI13534
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 1983 (1984) illustrated, pp. 6, 17; BIB# AI97139