Note: Louis Rigal was a multi-faceted artist: painter,sculptor, muralist, and mosaic designer. Born in France and trained in the fine arts, he won the Prix-de-Rome for painting in 1919 and settled in Paris. He collaborated with the famed designer Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, painting the ceiling for Ruhlmanns important Hotel du Collectioneur, pavilion in the 1925 Paris Exposition and contributing sculpture to the sumptuous interiors that Ruhlmann created for his clientele, the crèmede-la-crème of Paris society. One of Rigals crowning achievements was the commission for designs for the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue in New York. Designed by Schultze and Weaver in 1931 at the height of Art Deco in America and positioning itself as the pinnacle of high style elegance and sophistication, the Waldorf featured Louis Rigal sculpted elevators doors, murals in the Grand Foyer and an important floor mosaic: The Wheel of Life, which after a period of being hidden under carpeting, is celebrated and enjoyed today.
Literature: Emmanuel Bréton and Rosalind Pepall, ed, Ruhlmann, Genius of Art Deco, exhibition catalogue, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, June 10-September 5, 2004, Paris, Somology Editon d'Art, 2004,p. 31, for the identical sculpture in situ in a Ruhlmann commode in the Norman apartment in Paris and p.298 cat.no.75, for a drawing, Atlas, included in the Ruhlmann exhibition.