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Rene Lacaze (1901-2000) French, A pair of oval landscapes, circa 1920, oil on board, signed and titled to verso "Clair de Lune - Cote d'Azur' and "Le Levant, inscribed First prize Salon 1923, in original gilt frames, oval, 63 cm high, 52 cm wide, Rene Lacaze was born in Paris on 27 July 1901 and was influenced by fashion and art from an early age. He was particularly drawn to jewellery design and studied for four years at Atelier Mentel in Paris, a studio which worked with the most famous jewellers of the time: Cartier, Boucheron, Ancoc and Janesich., In 1923 Lacaze commenced work for Van Cleef & Arpels, where it was not long before his exceptional talent for drawing was spotted. Together with Alfred van Cleef's daughter, Renee Rachel Puissant, he took over as head of artistic and creative design at Van Cleef & Arpels in 1926. This period saw the creation of famous pieces of jewellery such as the Minaudière (evening bag) and the introduction of the 'serti invisible' technique which enabled gemstones to be held in place without visible prongs or claws., Lacaze ceased to work for Van Cleef & Arpels in 1941 to run his own jewellery studio, where he created pieces for illustrious clients including Marlene Dietrich, Michèle Morgan, Maurice Chevalier and the Duchess of Windsor. Upon his retirement in 1968, Lacaze devoted himself to painting and produced numerous water-colours. He died at the age of 99 in Maisons-Laffitte on 5 January 2000.