Sensual forms, sublime innuendos, lush entanglements: the whole over-the-top emotional palette is present in these rare art masterpieces
I have to admit, Art Nouveau is my favorite period in art history. Perhaps, because it also coincides with 1900s frenetically-paced industrial revolution (superimposing the grimy steamy machinery and belching factories with delicate and marvelous fairy curves). Blessed by works of such masters as Hector Guimard, Alphonse Mucha, Antoni Gaudi, this style seems to be ripe with foreboding of coming social upheavals and a general sense of anything-goes wild abandon that prevailed in Europe, and especially in France in the early 1900s.
(Victor Laloux's Beaux-Arts clock in the Orsay Museum, Paris; photo by Ruy Barbosa Pinto)
This article does not intend to educate about every variety of Art Nouveau (there are countless books and Wikipedia for that). But I'd like to highlight the most gorgeous examples, including the ones that so far escaped wide public attention. Remember, with every year we step further away from this incredibly creative era, and many soul-enriching art pieces may well be doomed to recede into the mists of time without their due share of appreciation. Well, no more. We here at Dark Roasted Blend are going to bring some of this awareness back, in many future installments of this series.
Hector Guimard's "organic buildings" in Paris
Everybody knows about Hector's contribution to Paris' Metropolitain: the flowery and somewhat alien-looking (especially in twilight) entrances all over Paris center -
These graceful organic forms may even bring to mind the former glory of the 1900 Paris Exposition, full of legendary structures, of which only a few photographs still exist today (more info). Here are some details of the entrance to Metro Abesses station:
His vision for furniture also embodied twisty organic forms, which may or may not be the ultimate in structural design (one simply can not get carried away with wild arched and curved designs, when most furniture requires solid function and support):
Another house by Hector is this fairy-tale cottage (yet another one is for sale here):
"Hector Guimard, meanwhile, pushed the use of parts of trees, flowers, stems and roots to the pinnacle during the Golden Age of Art Nouveau. Guimard was said to have been committed to total interior design, with his talents extending from wrought iron entrance gates to wallpaper patterns and from fire places to side chats. He even used the style to craft papier mache ceiling decorations"
Shown in the collage below is the light fixture and jewelry by Hector Guimard - and his daring architecture: La Maison Coillot, Lille; Ceramique Coilliot, Rue Fleurus; Villa Hemsy, Saint Cloud (Hauts de Seine), 1913:
"Dark Roasted Blend" - All Kinds of Weird and Wonderful Things, Discovered Daily!"
DRB is a top-ranked and respected source for the best in art, travel and fascinating technology, with a highly visual presentation. Our in-depth articles in many categories make DRB a highly visual online magazine, bringing you quality entertainment every time you open your "feed" reader or visit our site - About DRB