Portrait of French designer, glassworker, and decorator.

Max Ingrand

French designer, glassworker, and decorator


Max Ingrand (born December 20, 1908, Bressuire, France–died August 25, 1969, Paris, France) was a French designer, glassworker, and decorator who was known for his studio glass and stained glass window designs. He was educated at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts and École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, where he studied interior design and specialized in decorative arts graduating in 1927. While at school, he apprenticed to renowned stained glass artist Jacques Grüber and architect Charles Lemarequier.

In 1931, Max Ingrand left the workshop of Jacques Gruber to create his own company. One of the most important assignments of this time was his design and creation of the stained glass windows at the Sainte Agnès church, in Maisons-Alfort, where he further developed his skills as a master glassmaker not shy of utilizing bold luminous colors. During this time, Ingrand also worked on private commissions designing stain glass windows and glass etching. In 1937, he worked on important window designs for Notre-Dame de Paris, and later the Saint-Pierre d’Yvetot Church in Normandy, which would become one of largest stained glass windows in Europe. read more

From 1939 to 1945, Ingrand was drafted into military service and was later held as a prisoner of war in the region of Silesia, Poland-Germany, until the end of World War II. Unfortunately, many of his original designed church windows were destroyed during the war, but Ingrand was hired to replace them immediately after the end of the war. In fact, Max Ingrand became the most sought-after glassmakers for the restoration and construction of churches, and, by the end of his career, he and his workshops would have rebuilt and create windows for hundreds of churches.

In addition to designing stained glasses for Notre-Dame and Yvetot, he produced a great number of stained glass panels for other religious buildings, hotels, and public places around the world. From 1954 until 1967, Max Ingrand became the artistic director of Fontana Arte, the prestigious light manufacturing company founded by Luigi Fontana. It was during his time at Fontana Arte that Ingrand created true design classics; most of them were mirrors, lamps, chandeliers, and other glass objects produced in short quantities for the wealthy, but there were also more accessible designs, such as the Fontana table lamp, which had broader appeal and acceptance. That same year, Ingrand founded Verre Lumière, which resulted out of a merger between glass company Saint Gobain and lighting firm Mazda. The company became one of the first producers of halogen lamps and mass-produced tabletops and floor lighting, in addition to catering private commissioned work. His work was seen as an inspiration of the style reminiscent of the Middle Ages yet remains modern through his use of materials such as metal and glass.

Last updated: April 16, 2019

For more information on Max Ingrand, please visit Fontana Arte

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