Art nouveau is a global style of architecture, which was inspired by natural forms and configurations. It was shaped by curved lines of plants and flowers. The art became popular between 1890 and 1910. It included a range of fine and decorative arts, like architecture, painting, graphic art, interior design, glass art, jewelry, furniture, ceramics, textiles and metal work, but was replaced by Art deco and out of style by 1910.
The name of the art was derived from ‘House of New Art’ an art gallery which opened in 1895. The style of Art Nouveau was influence by ‘Japonism’ which was brought into Europe in the 1870s. After the invention of printing and publishing art nouveau quickly reached global audiences. In terms of architecture, the first art nouveau house, was the ‘Hotel tassel’, built in 1893-1895 by an architect with classical training Victor Horta. Horta designed not just the house but its interior spaces, its décor, furniture, carpets and the architectural details of the house. The building was to be the house of a prominent Belgian chemist, Emile Tassel. Thin iron columns were used in the building to support its floors and the floors and walls were decorated with floral and vegetal forms of mosaics, which become the main style of art nouveau. (Wikipedia:2018) From art nouveau emerged another great and similar form of art ‘Jugendstil’ which emerged from a magazine which focused on the style of art nouveau. Jugendstil is said to have begun in the mid-1890 and continued until the first world war in Southern Germany. It was formed by Georg Hirth who was more of an intellectual than an artist and one of the editors of the magazine from which the art arose from. The art is decorative wavy lines, floral ornamentation and nature. It was part of the upper-class lifestyle trends at the time. The art later evolved into two phases: one before 1900, which was mainly floral, which begun in English Art Nouveau and Japanese arts and paints. The other phase was more abstract. The modern take of Jugendstil has influenced logo design. Like the ‘Star Buck’s’ logo.
Jugendstil included fairy tale creatures and religious aspects in its design work but there were still shows some evidence of art nouveau such as long elongated flowery aspects, flat colors and elongated wispy lines the only difference between the two was that Jugendstil was more geometrically formed. (Designingbuildings:2018)
Hotel tassel an architectural example of art nouveau, is a town house built by Victor Horta in 1893 in Brussels. For the Belgian scientist and professor Emile Tassel. The house was completed in 1894. It is the first art nouveau building. It has highly innovative plans, materials and decoration. The house consists of three different parts. One rather traditional, in brick and natural stone, the other on the side of the garden and one on the side of the street. They were linked by steel structure and covered with glass, which functions as the connective part of the house and contains staircases and landings that connect the different rooms and floors. The glass roof functions as a light source that brings in natural light into the centre of the building. The centre of the building could also be used to host guests. Horta put in his most effort into the interior designs of the house. (Wikipedia:2018). From his great work in ‘Hotel Tassel’ emerged the ‘Horta Museum’ dedicated to the life of the architect. The museum was built between 1898 and 1901. The museum is housed in Horta’s former house in the Brussels municipality of Saint Gilles. Housed in the museum’s art nouveau interior spaces is furniture, utensils and art objects designed by Horta himself, as well as documents related to his life time. The museum also organizes temporary exhibitions on topics related to Horta and his art. The building is of typical art nouveau height. The interior decoration has largely been maintained, the mosaics, stained glass and wall decorations form a harmonious and elegant whole, down to the last detail. The balcony of the museum was designed in 1899, with white stone. In the same year in July, the staircase is designed which was made of marble and in October blue stone pavement handles were designed. The details of the museum continued to be built year by year till its completion 1901. The museum consists of a basement and 5 floors. Most of the museums most spacious rooms face the back of the property. The ground floor which opens at street level on the main façade is buried respect to the ground. Therefore, is lit by a patio at the back façade of the building. The dining has white tiles that cover the walls, framed by their edges. The floor, is of bright colored mosaics and in the centre is a wooden floor. The wooden spaces of the museum include the furniture, the central fireplace and the window which overlook the living room. The most symbolic element of the house is the skylight over the main staircase which is light, translucent glass with shapes inspired by nature.
As seen, Art nouveau and Jugendstil is pretty much the same form of art with the slight difference that art nouveau is more ‘curvy’ forms, both inspired by nature. (Wikiarquitectura:2018)
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