According to Gustave Geffroy, in Esquisses décoratives, Binet found inspiration in nature. Binet believed that you could escape the obsession of the past, of tradition, by focusing on nature which is always in motion and always producing. Nature never stops nor hesitates. To Binet, nature is where we can find the secret of creation and transformation.
CTG Publishing has released two volumes dedicated to Rene Binet. In these publications, the reader discovers Binet’s broad knowledge of architectural design and becomes acquainted with his style of watercolor painting. The first volume is dedicated to his sketches of industrial and architectural designs as found in the Esquisses décoratives. The second volume includes some of architectural projects such as the Porte Monumentale for the Exposition Universelle of 1900, the Printemps department store and his many watercolor paintings from Versailles and the Trianons.
René Binet Awards & Honors
Prix Chapelain in 1891
Prix des achitecte Americains 1893
Prix Chaudesaigues 1893
Prix Rougevin 1896
Porte Principale Exposition Universelle 1900
Légion d’honneur: chevalier on the 18th August, 1900
René Binet Notable Works
Esquisses décoratives [book]
Versailles and the Trianons [illustrator, book]
René Binet was born in Chaumont, Yonne [Burgundy region] on the 14th of October, 1866 to Savinien Joseph Binet, a railway tracklayer and Marie Grosset, a housekeeper.
He attended the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA), from 1886 until about 1892, and was a student of Victor Laloux. Binet was an architect, decorator, and painter. Perhaps his most culturally significant contribution was his design of the main entry for the Paris Exhibition of 1900, a commission that he won. He is considered an artist of La Belle Epoque, executing his designs in the style of Art Nouveau. Two Paris addresses are associated with the artist: 6 rue de l’Abbaye and 33 rue Bonaparte.
According to the Musée d’Orsay, René Binet “discovered Italy after winning, in 1893, the Chaudesaigues prize, which enabled young architects to spend two years there”. Along with Italy, Binet also traveled to Sicily, Algeria and Spain. The museum also attributes these trips to his interest in watercolor painting. According to the museum, he traveled frequently which provided him some relief from his rheumatism. In 1903, an exhibition, at the Galerie Paul Durand-Ruel in Paris, featured his watercolor paintings.
His work was also greatly influenced by the research and illustrations of Ernst Haeckel. Gustave Geffroy, in his forward to Esquisses décoratives, notes that Binet viewed the Clathrocanium reginae as the most beautiful and a perfect representation of the richness and logic of the Radiolaria family. Geffroy also points out that it is the Clathrocanium reginae that inspired the design of the Porte Monumentale [main entrance] of the Exposition Universelle of 1900. You can see illustrations of these geometric and microscopic sea creature skeletons in the second volume of Binet’s works or in the separate edition of Haeckel’s works from delsc.
Binet died in 1911 in Ouchy, Switzerland.
Les architectes élèves de l’Ecole des beaux-arts, 1793-1907 (1907),Paris Librairie de la construction moderne
Musée d’Orsay. http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/collections/index-of-works/notice.html?no_cache=1&nnumid=56009
Archives Nationales site de ParisMinistère du Commerce: dossiers de proposition pour la Légion d’honneur http://www.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/chan/chan/series/pdf/F12-legion-honneur.pdf
Art et décoration, 1922.