Linke, François

1855-1946 • FrenchArguably the leading cabinet-maker of the Belle Epoque, Linke's highly original designs fused Rococo gilt flourishes with the liveliness and the fluidity of Art Nouveau. Linke's creations were labeled "entierement nouveau," or "entirely new," and his work was considered some of the most impressive at the turn of the century. His characteristic sculptural gilt mounts reflected the influence of marquetry genius André-Charles Boulle, but Linke's most original designs were almost certainly created in collaboration with the enigmatic sculptor Léon Messagé, who excelled in creating lively, high relief, allegorical figures recalling the styles of Boucher and Falconet. Linke's greatest successes were achieved during the years after 1900 and up to the beginning of World War I. He opened a showroom in the fashionable Place Vendôme and business flourished until World War II, although the popularity of the ancien régime styles already started to decline. Linke died at the venerable age of 91.

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