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Europe, 1894 -1915 AC





Art Nouveau

Victor Horta

Henry Van De Velde

Antonì Gaudì

Hector Guimard

Charles Rennie Mackintosh












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Art Nouveau


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Art Nouveau was a diversified movement, developed in many nations of Europe at the end of 19th century. It is considered to be the continuation of the Gothic Revival and Arts and Crafts movements, due to its opposition to blank and meaningless industrial production, in respect of traditional nationalistic values. This new expression of architecture, design and decorative arts varied from region to region, in relation to regional cultural and traditional values. As a consequence it has been defined with many different names: Metrò, Liberty, Secession, Jugendstil, Modernism. Even though it manifested with so many names and with several variegated forms of regional expression, Art Noveau is still being considered as a homogeneous cultural movement, due to its universally shared core principles: innovation, improvement and embellishment of industrial architecture and design with the use of applied decorative arts.

The Art Nouveau movement occurred in the late 19th century from about 1894 to 1914, and was represented in Europe as well as in the United States. In each country “Art Nouveau” had a different meaning and identity, and artists were often piqued against each other in defining the art period. In summary, Art Nouveau is the avant-garde movement of the period in reaction to historical and academic perspectives. Art Nouveau artists wished to blur the lines between famous and minor artists, and unifying all arts, and unifying art with everyday human life – in essence, the art of the period became part of the architecture, placards, and jewelry in an attempt to combine life and art. Art Nouveau is characterized by its elegant decorative style, detailed patterns, curving lines, and art innovation.

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Victor Horta (b. Ghent, Belgium 1861; d. Brussels, Belgium 1947) was born in Ghent, Belgium in 1861. After studying drawing, textiles and architecture at the Ghent Academie des Beaux Arts, he worked in Paris. He returned to Belgium and worked for the classical architect Alphons Balat, before he started his own practice.

Victor Horta created buildings which rejected historical styles and marked the beginning of modern architecture. He conceived modern architecture as an abstract principle derived from relations to the environment, rather than on the imitation of forms. Although the organic forms of Art Nouveau architecture as established by Horta do not meet our standard ideas of modern architecture, Horta generated ideas which became predecessors to the ideas of many modernist. Info source:

Van de Velde  

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Henri Clemens van de Velde (Belgian, 1863-1957) trained as a painter, architect and graphic designer in Antwerp and Paris, and was instrumental in the evolution of the Belgian Art Nouveau style. He designed all manner of items, including whole interiors, but was particularly influential in the fields of furniture, ceramics, jewelry and metalwork. His work was produced mainly to commission.

Van de Velde used innovative elements in his work, such as the curvilinear construction of the desk in the main picture. However, his work avoids being bizarre by the tempering of the innovative features with strong traditional elements.

Van de Velde's furniture tends to be substantial, with restrained, sculptural forms. In the manner of the Paris School, pieces rely on form for interest, rather than the applied decoration and inlay commonly used by adherents of the Nancy School. Info


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Architect and designer, Antoni Gaudi (1852 - 1926)is the most internationally prestigious figure in spanish architecture.
Born in Reus, in Catalonia, he graduated in Barcelona in 1878 and this city became the center of his activities. One important aspect is his capacity as designer.
This led him to create, in close collaboration with some of the very fine artisans of his time, all those elements making up architectural space - wrought iron, furniture, stained glass, sculptural work, mosaics, ceramics and so on - within an organic concept of decoration and with the integration of these elements into the construction process.
The sea landscape was one of his most preferred inspirations.

In his own time, Gaudi was both admired and criticised for the audacity and singularity of his innovative solutions. His fame on a world scale has become an unquestioned fact both in specialised circles and among the general public.


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Guimard studied and later taught at the School of Decorative Arts and at the École des Beaux- (“School of Fine Arts”) in Paris. Although much of his work is more engineering than architecture, he considered himself an architecte d’art. His Castel Béranger apartment building at 16 rue La Fontaine, Passy, Paris (1894–98), was one of the first Art Nouveau edifices outside Belgium, where the style originated. Several entrance structures (1898–1901) for the Paris Métro (subway), of cast iron in plantlike forms, are his best-known works. Info source:

Using varied materials—including metal, faience, and glass brick—Guimard created a design outstanding for the sinuous curves of its decoration, most notably evident in the floral and vegetative motifs of the wrought-iron gates. He is best known for his subway entrances for the Paris Métro (c. 1900), fanciful kiosks imaginatively detailed in wrought iron, bronze, and glass. A few remain in Paris; one of them is now in the garden of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. His influence, like that of all Art Nouveau architects, was nullified by the emergent functional styles of the 20th century. Info source:

Charles Rennie Mackintosh  

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By the end of the 19th century Glasgow School of Art was one of the leading art academies in Europe and after early success in the fine arts, the late 1890s saw Glasgow’s reputation in architecture and the decorative arts reach an all time high. At the very heart of this success was a talented young architect and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 - 1928) whose reputation was to quickly spread beyond his native city and who, over a century later, is still regarded as the father of Glasgow Style.

Mackintosh took his inspiration from our Scottish traditions and blended them with the flourish of Art Nouveau and the simplicity of Japanese forms. Much of his work has survived. It can be seen today alongside that of his close collaborators in the group known as "The Four" and the other artists and designers who collectively created "The Glasgow Style". Info source:





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360° visualization of Mackintosh furniture iDesign / Design Objects / Hill House Chair

about Gothic Revival: iDesign / Styles / Gothic Revival

about Arts and Crafts: iDesign / Keystones / Arts and Crafts

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