The more you know

Art Nouveau

Art nouveau was born in the last decades of the 19th century and in the years preceding the First World War, this current develops in a situation of well-being and spreads throughout Europe with different names and eventually it will also spread to the United States and will characterize the new buildings.
Art nouveau is inspired by the forms of nature and in particular the plant world (leaves and flowers).

Art nouveau is an impulse that is given to all the decorative arts and also spreads in fashion, it takes this name which means new art from a furniture shop in Paris. Art nouveau involves all fields, from furniture to fabrics, ceramics, iron, clothes to jewelry etc … and therefore involves the whole of society in general.
Art nouveau is applied to architecture but also to the urban environment.
In architecture, wavy surfaces with decorative motifs emerge as if there were climbing plants above them, and the windows also create sparkling and colorful surfaces.
In the urban environment, on the other hand, art nouveau affects street lamps, benches, signs and places such as stations and subways are embellished with iron and glass.
Antoni Gaudì is a Spanish architect who distinguished himself in art nouveau architecture, who blends late Gothic with majolica and bright colors.
The facades of his works look like rocks that have been eroded by the elements, in which the water has dug holes in the windows and doors.
Gaudi’s most famous work in the field of art nouveau architecture is the temple of the Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona, ​​on which he worked for thirty years until his death.
Gustav Klimt is the greatest exponent of art nouveau in painting. He studies at the school of decorative arts and in fact he begins his activity as a decorator of public buildings.
Klimt is passionate about art history and also makes a trip to Ravenna and after a certain period begins to use gold in his paintings of him and develops a technique called “mosaic”, which can have different shapes and sizes.
For his works Klimt uses square canvases and the figures in his paintings are always represented asymmetrically.
A very famous painting by Klimt is “The Three Ages”, in which he represents three women to describe the span of human life.
In the graphics sector, in addition to illustrations for books, the production of posters advertising commercial products or art galleries and shows is spreading.
After the fire of 1871 in the United States which destroyed all the buildings, many buildings had to be rebuilt. These buildings were built of wood, but thanks to the new discoveries of how to use other materials, for example iron, the new buildings were built with a metal armor, which also allowed the overlapping of numerous floors, which could be reached. easily thanks to another discovery: the elevator.

Each building was anchored to the ground with a reinforced concrete base.
A new building that is spreading thanks to these new discoveries is the skyscraper, which allows many homes to be concentrated in a fairly small area given that these buildings developed above all in height.
Also thanks to these new discoveries it was also possible to design suspension bridges
like the one in Brooklyn in New York which was inaugurated in 1883.

The characteristic of Munch’s scream is that it mainly uses curved lines.
In this painting there is a desperate soul on a bridge. This desperate soul is wide-eyed, her hands over her ears to protect herself from the very scream of him.
Still on the same bridge at the bottom, there are two other figures who are moving away. With this painting, the painter wants to represent the anguish he feels, when during a walk with friends he is struck by a melancholy caused by the blood-red of the sunset and the friends who are with him go away without realizing they have left him behind.
The painting aims to represent the inner state of the artist.
This thought of expressing one’s feelings is the basis of a new artistic movement called expressionism, just as opposed to impressionism.

The bridge was born in Dresden in 1905 and is an expressionist movement.
The ideas of the painters who are part of this movement called the bridge are those of “building” a bridge, through which the passage from the old to the new would take place and that anyone who wants to free their creative impulses must cross this bridge.
The most represented themes are the scenes of metropolitan life.
The colors used are blackish and generally characterized by dark colors such as acid green, electric blue and violent red and this color is applied with showy and dense brushstrokes.
This group dissolves in 1913 without being able to gain favor from the public, in fact their works will be re-evaluated only after 50 years.
The figures in the painting “5 women in the street” are almost caricatures, straight as poles and without expressions.

This current was born in 1905 in France.

Some painters who were part of this current exhibited their works in an important exhibition and a critic of the time defines them as Fauves.
The term fauves means wild beasts and is given this name for their bright and unnatural colors, which seem to be “slammed” on the canvas.
One component of this “current” says that color must burst like a cartridge of dynamite to express a state and must transmit energy to the viewer.
This group dissolves only after two years, in 1907 and the artists take different paths.
The head of the school is Henri Matisse.
A fundamental characteristic present in Matisse’s paintings is his way of accompanying the figures with arabesque lines, without any reference to depth or perspective.
A famous painting of him is: “the dance” in which he uses only three basic colors.


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