Le Petit Aquarium (The Little Aquarium)

Le Petit Aquarium (The Little Aquarium)

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: 
Gemmail Panel
Le Petit Aquarium (The Little Aquarium)
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Lightbox H: 38.1-36.4 cm, W: 46.7-44.6 cm, D: 26.1 cm; Panel H: 23 cm, W: 30.5 cm
On Display
about 1954
Credit Line: 
Gift of Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co.
Web Description: 
Signed by the renowned Cubist painter Georges Braque, this glass panel is an interpretation of the artist’s painting L’Aquarium au verre (The glass aquarium), made in 1944. The technique used to make this illuminated painting is called gemmail, or “enamel gem.” The term gemmail (plural gemmaux) was coined by the French painter Jean Crotti (1878–1958) to describe a technique for layering and adhering pieces of colored glass to create painterly compositions that come alive when illuminated from behind. After the glass was assembled, the panel was immersed in an enamel-type solution and then heated inside a kiln to fuse the glass. When it had cooled, the glass panel was mounted on a light box. In 1938, Crotti asked the artist Roger Malherbe-Navarre to assist with perfecting the adhesives and light boxes used in gemmail. By 1955, Malherbe-Navarre had set up a studio in Paris, and he had purchased the gemmail patent and its associated rights.
Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co., Source
Primary Description: 
Gemmail Panel, "Le Petit Aquarium (The Little Aquarium)". Gemmail panel in wood frame/ light box. Multicolored pieces of glass; layered, fused.
Masterpieces in Glass
A travelling exhibition by Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co.
Gemmaux Night
Casino du Palm Peach