The son of the famous ceramics and furniture maker, Emil Gale, studied philosophy, botany and drawing, to later master the glass manufacturing technique. After the French-Prussian war, he began working at his father’s factory in Nancy. At first, he created clean glass items, very little colored and decorated, but soon developed a deep-coloring technique, with spraying of plant ornaments. His expression is mostly owed to botany studies, and later he turns to Japanese motifs. His glass vases become flowers in themselves.
At the exhibition in 1878, Gale achieved enormous success, and in 1889 at the World Exhibition in Paris, he won three awards for ceramics, glass and furniture. At that time, ceramics went out of fashion and was not very popular with the audience, so Gale turned to glass, where he even patented two new glass design techniques in the coming years.
Gale’s work also shows his different interests. In addition to natural motifs that play a dominant role, Gale showed his patriotic spirit and political convictions at the fairs in 1880 and 1900, the works of the “Rhinoceros”, which calls for the return of Alsace and Lorraine to France, and the spectacular installation of the Seven Crucibles of Majoran, on the occasion of Dreyfus rehabilitation. At first involved in the renovation of decorative art, Emil Gale, thanks to industrialization and mass production, sold his works all over Europe. His furniture design, based on the handball, continued the French tradition of decorating with natural ornamentation, but the most intimate Gale’s concept was “meubles parlant”, where he included in the decoration included quotations of leading contemporary writers of symbolists, such as Moris Meterlink and Paul Verlen.