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Art Nouveau Furniture

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In 1878, a new English-style furniture was already well known in Europe*. It then spread to Belgium and then worldwide.

The industrial revolution litterally invented new materials such as steel or new types of glass. So, one common idea was to combine the "old" materials such wood or stones with the new ones. The result was a new kind of furniture but also staircases, rooms, lamps and, in the end, architecture.

We deal here with Art Nouveau furniture, so here are a few pictures. You will note that, like for all Art Nouveau products, Nature was the key model. Insects, plants, leaves and floreal design were the inspirations, and not always in an elegant way; a slight over-exageration of floreal design would sometime make raise the eyebrowse even at contemporary observers. See below an example of "ugly" art nouveau furniture, and then compare with more successful designs (Sidenote: in my opinion it's very important to look at "ugly" art and designs, at "mistakes in art" because this develops our perception of the beautiful)


art nouveau furniture ugly example
Ugly (in my opinion) Art Nouveau furniture style; example 1; source
reportedly, an Hungarian (Budapest Museum) piece. A little bit on the "heavy" look, like the bed below...


art nouveau furniture ugly example 2
Ugly style (in my opinion) ; example 2; source:
The floreal design is a bit overdone resulting in a heavy, bulky look..


art nouveau furnitureThe same bed as above. It's located in Paris, at 52 rue du Ranelagh, Hotel Pezal. It was made in occasion of the owner daughter's wedding in 1903 (source). Also note that there are no more frames and curtains around the bed, a style in vogue until the mid 1800s.


art nouveau furnitureAmerican Art Noveau, probably; source (the author of the picture refer to a "Celtic" Art Nouveau style but I don't see what this furniture has got to do with any Celtic decoration....

Now a little surprise for some beautiful furniture example (read the image caption below)

art nouveau furnitureThis is a..miniature reproduction of art nouveau furniture (also called "Liberty" in Italy) in 1/12 scale, inspired by a 1901 desk by Albert Issel.Source

And eventually, some real art beautiful, elegant pieces


art nouveau furnitureFurniture pieces in the Hotel Pezal, Paris, France; 1903; source; I couldn't locate the Hotel in that street (maybe closed down or just a museum?); But, for a variation, on the same street is the famous French cuisine school of Alain Ducassé...

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art nouveau furniture with Spndler marquetry
An Art Nouveau furniture with marquetry work by Spindler


Buy This Allposters.com


Buy This Allposters.com

This chair is a clear cut with the "tradition" of Art Nouveau: instead of elegant curves, the lines are straight. A reminescence of the Frank Lloyd style or a forerunner, I would say. Probably more an Art Deco piece. Unfortunately, I don't know the author.


art nouveau staircaseBrzesko, Poland; Goetz-Okocimski Brewery, source. Staircase about 1906



art nouveau furnitureAt the Musée d' Orsay in Paris, France: source


art nouveau furnitureMusée D'Orsay, art Nouveau furniture; source



art nouveau furniture
Casa Gaudi Museum, Barcelona, Spain:detail of "calvet bench"; source

Important Names of art Nouveau furniture are:

ENGLAND:Charles Rennie MAckintosh,

BELGIUM: Henry Van de Velde, Gustave Serrurier-Bovy, Victor Horta

FRANCE: Louis Majorelle, Eugène Gaillard, Alexandre Charpentier, Eugène Vallin, hector Guimard

HUNGARY: Wigand Ede (won the silver medal for furniture at at 1900 Paris exhibition), Jacob and Josef Kohn

GERMANY: Otto Eckmann, Richard Riemerschmid and Hermann Obrist

AUSTRIA:Otto Wagner, Joseph Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Adolf Loos

ITALY: Vittorio Valabrega, Agostino Lauro, Carlo Bugatti

USA: Frank Lloyd Wright


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* "L'art Nouveau", by Jean Lahor, 1901





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