Stained Glass Windows
The term stained glass can refer to the material of coloured glass or the craft of working with it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term "stained glass" has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches, cathedrals, chapels, and other significant buildings. Although traditionally made in flat panels and used as windows, the creations of modern stained glass artists also include three-dimensional structures and sculpture.
Modern vernacular usage has often extended the term "stained glass" to include domestic leadlight and objets d'art created from lead came and copper foil glasswork exemplified in the famous lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany.
As a material stained glass is glass that has been coloured by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. The coloured glass is crafted into stained glass windows in which small pieces of glass are arranged to form patterns or pictures, held together (traditionally) by strips of lead and supported by a rigid frame. Painted details and yellow stain are often used to enhance the design. The term stained glass is also applied to windows in which the colours have been painted onto the glass and then fused to the glass in a kiln.
Stained glass, as an art and a craft, requires the artistic skill to conceive an appropriate and workable design, and the engineering skills to assemble the piece. A window must fit snugly into the space for which it is made, must resist wind and rain, and also, especially in the larger windows, must support its own weight. Many large windows have withstood the test of time and remained substantially intact since the late Middle Ages. In Western Europe they constitute the major form of pictorial art to have survived. In this context, the purpose of a stained glass window is not to allow those within a building to see the world outside or even primarily to admit light but rather to control it. For this reason stained glass windows have been described as 'illuminated wall decorations'.
The design of a window may be non-figurative or figurative; may incorporate narratives drawn from the Bible, history, or literature; may represent saints or patrons, or use symbolic motifs, in particular armorial. Windows within a building may be thematic, for example: within a church - episodes from the life of Christ; within a parliament building - shields of the constituencies; within a college hall - figures representing the arts and sciences; or within a home - flora, fauna, or landscape.
A large Perpendicular style Gothic window of eight lights in Canterbury Cathedral, c. 1400, which contains medieval glass.
From the 10th or 11th century, when stained glass began to flourish as an art, glass factories were set up where there was a ready supply of silica, the essential product of glass manufacture. Glass was usually coloured by adding metallic oxides to the glass while in a molten state in a clay pot over a furnace. Glass coloured in this way was known as pot metal. Copper oxides were added to produce green, cobalt for blue, and gold was added to produce red glass. Much modern red glass is produced using ingredients less expensive than gold and giving a brighter red of a more vermilion shade.
Cylinder glass This glass was collected from the pot into a molten ball and blown, while being continually manipulated until it formed a large cylindrical bottle shape of even diameter and wall-thickness. It was then cut open, laid flat and annealed to make it stable. This is the type of glass most commonly used for ancient stained glass windows.
Crown glass This glass was partly blown into a hollow vessel, then put onto a revolving table which could be rapidly spun like a potter's wheel. The centrifugal force caused the molten material to flatten and spread outwards. It could then be cut into small sheets. This glass could be made coloured and used for stained glass windows, but is typically associated with small paned windows of 16th and 17th century houses. The concentric, curving ripples are characteristic of this process. The center of each piece of glass received less force during the spinning, and thus produced was a thicker piece. These centres were for the special effect created by their lumpy, refractive quality. They are known as bull's eyes and are feature of late 19th century domestic leadlight and are sometimes also used with cathedral glass or quarry glass in non-pictorial church windows of that date.
Table glass This glass was produced by pouring molten glass onto a metal table and sometimes rolling it with a large metal cylinder. The glass thus produced is heavily textured by the reaction of the glass with the cold metal. Glass of this appearance is commercially produced and widely used today, under the name of cathedral glass, although it was not the type of glass favoured for stained glass in ancient cathedrals. It has been much used for lead lighting in churches in the 20th century. Modern glass made by this technique is often heavily patterned by the use of an engrave metal roller.
Flashed glass Red pot metal glass was often undesirably dark in colour and prohibitively expensive. The method developed to produce red glass was called flashing. In this procedure, a semi-molten cylinder of clear glass was dipped into a pot of red glass so that the red glass formed a thin coating. The laminated glass thus formed was cut, flattened and heat annealed.
There are a number of advantages to this technique. It allows a variety in the depth of red ranging from very dark and almost opaque, through ruby red to pale and sometimes streaky red that was often used for thin border pieces. The other advantage was that the red of double-layered glass could be engraved or abraded to allow light to shine through the clear glass underneath. In the late Medieval period, this method was often employed to add rich patterns to the robes of Saints. The other advantage, much exploited by late Victorian and early 20th century artists, was that sheets could be flashed in which the depth of colour varied across the sheet. This was applied to a range of colours. Some stained glass studios, notably Lavers, Barraud and Westlake in England, made extensive use of large segments of irregularly flashed glass in robes and draperies.
Modern production of traditional glass There are a number of glass factories, notably in Germany, USA, England, France, Poland and Russia, which produce high quality glass by traditional methods. Such glass is produced primarily for the restoration of older windows from 1920s and before. The production of new windows in traditional Victorian, Arts and Crafts and early 20th century styles often uses traditional glass. Modern stained glass windows also often use a variety of these different types of glass, or employ commercially made glass.
Creating stained glass windows
Coloured glass has been produced since ancient times. Both the Egyptians and the Romans excelled at the manufacture of small coloured glass objects. The British Museum holds two of the finest Roman pieces, the Lycurgus Cup, which is a murky mustard colour but glows purple-red to transmitted light, and the Portland vase which is midnight blue, with a carved white overlay.
In Early Christian churches of the 4th and 5th centuries there are many remaining windows which are filled with ornate patterns of thinly-sliced alabaster set into wooden frames, giving a stained-glass like effect. Evidence of stained glass windows in churches and monasteries within Britain can be found as early as the 7th century. Benedict Biscop’s monasteries in Monkwearmouth and Jarrow have revealed hundreds of pieces of coloured glass and lead from as early as 680 CE. Stained glass was also used by Islamic architects in Southwest Asia by the 8th century, when the alchemist Geber, in Kitab al-Durra al-Maknuna, gives 46 original recipes for producing coloured glass and describes the production of cutting glass into artificial gemstones.
Stained glass, as an art form, reached its height in the Middle Ages when it became a major pictorial form and was used to illustrate the narratives of the Bible to a largely illiterate populace.
In the Romanesque and Early Gothic period, from about 950 AD to 1240 AD, the untraceried windows demanded large expanses of glass which of necessity were supported by robust iron frames, such as may be seen at Chartres Cathedral and at the eastern end of Canterbury Cathedral. As Gothic architecture developed into a more ornate form, windows grew larger, affording greater illumination to the interiors, but were divided into sections by vertical shafts and tracery of stone. The elaboration of form reached its height of complexity in the Flamboyant style in Europe and windows grew still larger with the development of the Perpendicular style in England.
Integrated with the lofty verticals of Gothic cathedrals and parish churches, the glass designs became more daring. The circular form, or rose window developed in France from relatively simple windows with pierced openings through slabs of thin stone to wheel windows, as exemplified by that in the West front of Chartres Cathedral, and ultimately to designs of enormous complexity, the tracery being drafted from hundreds of different points, such as those at Sainte-Chapelle, Paris and the "Bishop's Eye" at Lincoln Cathedral.
The Renaissance and Reformation
In Europe, stained glass continued to be produced with the style evolving from the Gothic to the Classical style, which is widely represented in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, despite the rise of Protestantism. In France, much glass of this period was produced at the Limoges factory, and in Italy at Murano, where stained glass and faceted lead crystal are often coupled together in the same window. Ultimately, the French Revolution brought about the neglect or destruction of many windows in France. At the Reformation, in England large numbers of Medieval and Renaissance windows were smashed and replaced with plain glass. The Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII and the injunctions of Oliver Cromwell against "abused images" (the object of veneration) resulted in the loss of thousands of windows. Few remain undamaged; of them the windows in the private chapel at Hengrave Hall in Suffolk are among the finest. With the latter wave of destruction the traditional methods of working with stained glass died and were not to be rediscovered in England until the early 19th century. See Stained glass - British glass, 1811-1918 for more details.
Revival in Britain
The Catholic revival in England, gaining force in the early 19th century, with its renewed interest in the medieval church brought a revival of church building in the Gothic style, claimed by John Ruskin to be "the true Catholic style". The architectural movement was led by Augustus Welby Pugin. Many new churches were planted in large towns and many old churches were restored. This brought about a great demand for the revival of the art of stained glass window making.
Among the earliest 19th century English manufacturers and designers are William Warrington and John Hardman of Birmingham whose nephew, John Hardman Powell, who had a commercial eye and exhibited works at the Philadelphia Exhibition of 1873, influencing stained glass in the United States of America. Other manufacturers include William Wailes, Ward and Hughes, Clayton and Bell, Heaton, Butler and Bayne and Charles Eamer Kempe. A Scottish designer, Daniel Cottier, opened firms in Australia and the US.
Revival in France
In France there was a greater continuity of stained glass production than in England. In the early 19th century most stained glass was made of large panes that were extensively painted and fired, the designs often being copied directly from oil paintings by famous artists. In 1824 the Sevres Porcelain factory began producing stained glass to supply the increasing demand. In France many churches and cathedrals suffered despoilation during the French Revolution. During the 19th century a great number of churches were restored by Viollet-le-Duc. Many of France's finest ancient windows were restored at this time. From 1839 onwards much stained glass was produced that very closely imitates medieval glass, both in the artwork and in the nature of the glass itself. The pioneers were Henri Gèrente and Andre Lusson. Other glass was designed in a more Classical manner, and characterised by the brilliant cerulean colour of the blue backgrounds (as against the purple-blue of the glass of Chartres) and the use of pink and mauve glass.
Revival in Europe
During the mid to late 19th century, many of Germany's ancient buildings were restored, and some, such as Cologne Cathedral were completed in the medieval style. There was a great demand for stained glass. The designs for many windows were based directly on the work of famous engravers such as Albrecht Durer. Original designs often imitate this style. Much 19th century German glass has large sections of painted detail rather than outlines and details dependent on the lead. The Royal Bavarian Glass painting Studio was founded by Ludwig I in 1827.A major firm was Mayer of Munich which commenced glass production in 1860, and is still operating as Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc.. German stained glass found a market across Europe, in America and Australia. Stained glass studios were also founded in Italy and Belgium at this time.
Innovations in the United States
Notable American practitioners include John La Farge (1835-1910) who invented opalescent glass and for which he received a US patent February 24, 1880, and Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933), who received several patents for variations of the same opalescent process in November of the same year and is believed to have invented the copper foil method as an alternative to lead, and used it extensively in windows, lamps and other decorations.
Innovations in Britain and Europe
Among the most innovative English designers were the Pre-Raphaelites, William Morris (1834-1898) and Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898), whose work heralds Art Nouveau. Art Nouveau or Belle Epoch stained glass design flourished in France, and Eastern Europe, where it can be identified by the use of curvings sinous lines in the lead, and swirling motifs. In France it is seen in the work of Francis Chigot of Limoges. In Britain it appears in the refined and formal leadlight designs of Charles Rennie Macintosh.
Many 19th century firms failed early in the twentieth century as the Gothic movement had been superseded by newer styles. At the same time there were also some interesting developments where stained glass artists took studios in shared facilities. Examples include the Glass House in London set up by Mary Lowndes and A.J. Drury and An Túr Gloine in Dublin, which was run by Sarah Purser.
A revival occurred in the middle of the century because of the desire to restore the thousands of church windows throughout Europe, destroyed as a result of bombing during the World War II. German artists led the way. Much work of the period is mundane and often was not made by its designers but industrially produced.
Other artists sought to transform an ancient art form into a contemporary one, sometimes using only traditional techniques but often exploring the medium of glass in different ways and in combination with different materials. The use of slab glass set in concrete was another 20th century innovation. Gemmail glass, developed in 1936, by the French artist Jean Crotti, is a type of stained glass where the pieces of glass that are adjacent to each other overlap allowing for a greater diversity and subtlety of colour.
Among the early well-known 20th century artists who experimented with stained glass as an Abstract art form were Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian. In the 1960s and 70s the Expressionist painter Marc Chagall produced designs for many stained glass windows that are intensely coloured and crammed with symbolic details. Important 20th century stained glass artists include Douglas Strachan, Ervin Bossanyi, Louis Davis,Wilhelmina Geddes, Karl Parsons, Patrick Reyntiens, Ludwig Schaffrath, Johannes Shreiter, Judith Schaechter, Paul Woodroffe, Jean René Bazaine at Saint Séverin and the Loire Studio of Gabriel Loire at Chartres. The Luxus Keibel studio in Mexico specialises in domestic stained glass in both contemporary and 19th century styles. The west windows of Manchester cathedral in England by Tony Hollaway are some of the most notable examples of symbolic work.
In the US, there is a 100-year-old trade organization, The Stained Glass Association of America, whose purpose is to function as a publicly recognized organization to assure survival of the craft by offering guidelines, instruction and training to craftspersons. The SGAA also sees its role as defending and protecting its craft against regulations that might restrict its freedom as an architectural art form. The current president is B. Gunar Gruenke of the Conrad Schmitt Studios. Today there are academic establishments that teach the traditional skills. One of these is Florida State University's Master Craftsman Program who recently completed a 30 ft high stained-glass windows installed in Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Combining ancient and modern traditions
Buildings incorporating stained glass windows
Churches and Cathedrals
Stained glass windows were commonly used in churches for decorative and informative purposes. Many windows are donated to churches by members of the congregation as memorials of loved ones. For more information on the use of stained glass to depict religious subjects, see Poor Man's Bible
The dazzling display of medieval glass at Sainte-Chapelle, Paris
St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney has a cycle of 27 windows by Hardman of Birmingham
Stained glass windows in houses were particularly popular in Victorian era and many domestic examples survive. In their simplest form they typically depict birds and flowers in small panels, often surrounded with machine-made cathedral glass, which, despite what the name suggests, is pale-coloured and textured. Some large homes have splendid examples of secular pictorial glass. Many small houses of the 19th and early 20th centuries have leadlight windows.
Public and commercial use of stained glass
Town halls, schools, colleges and other public buildings often incorporate stained glass or leadlighting.
Windows by Mordecai Ardon at the Jewish National and University Library, Jerusalem
Abstract design by Marcelle Ferron at a Metro station in Montreal, Canada
Art Nouveau (French pronunciation: [a? nuvo], anglicised to /?ɑrt nu??vou/) is an international movement and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that peaked in popularity at the turn of the 20th century (1890–1905).The name 'Art nouveau' is French for 'new art'. It is also known as Jugendstil, German for 'youth style', named after the magazine Jugend, which promoted it, and in Italy, Stile Liberty from the department store in London, Liberty & Co., which popularized the style. A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, it is characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly-stylized, flowing curvilinear forms.Art Nouveau is an approach to design according to which artists should work on everything from architecture to furniture, making art part of everyday life.
The movement was strongly influenced by Czech artist Alphonse Mucha, when Mucha produced a lithographed poster, which appeared on 1 January 1895 in the streets of Paris as an advertisement for the play Gismonda by Victorien Sardou, starring Sarah Bernhardt. It was an overnight sensation, and announced the new artistic style and its creator to the citizens of Paris. Initially called the Style Mucha, (Mucha Style), this soon became known as Art Nouveau.
Art Nouveau's fifteen-year peak was most strongly felt throughout Europe—from Glasgow to Moscow to Madrid — but its influence was global. Hence, it is known in various guises with frequent localized tendencies.In France, Hector Guimard's metro entrances shaped the landscape of Paris and Emile Gallé was at the center of the school of thought in Nancy. Victor Horta had a decisive impact on architecture in Belgium. Magazines like Jugend helped spread the style in Germany, especially as a graphic artform, while the Vienna Secessionists influenced art and architecture throughout Austria-Hungary. Art Nouveau was also a movement of distinct individuals such as Gustav Klimt, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Alphonse Mucha, René Lalique, Antoni Gaudí and Louis Comfort Tiffany, each of whom interpreted it in their own individual manner.
Although Art Nouveau fell out of favor with the arrival of 20th-century modernist styles it is seen today as an important bridge between the historicism of Neoclassicism and modernism. Furthermore, Art Nouveau monuments are now recognized by UNESCO on their World Heritage List as significant contributions to cultural heritage.The historic center of Riga, Latvia, with "the finest collection of art nouveau buildings in Europe", was inscribed on the list in 1997 in part because of the "quality and the quantity of its Art Nouveau/Jugendstil architecture", and four Brussels town houses by Victor Horta were included in 2000 as "works of human creative genius" that are "outstanding examples of Art Nouveau architecture brilliantly illustrating the transition from the 19th to the 20th century in art, thought, and society."It later influenced psychedelic art that flourished in the 1960s and 1970s.
Staircase of the Maison & Atelier of Victor Horta. This building is one of four Horta-designed town houses in Brussels that are together recognised by UNESCO as "representing the highest expression of the influential Art Nouveau style in art and architecture."
Naming the style
At its beginning, neither Art Nouveau nor Jugendstil was the common name of the style, and the style adopted different labels as it spread between artistic centers. Those two names came from, respectively, Samuel Bing's gallery Maison de l'Art Nouveau in Paris and the magazine Jugend in Munich, both of which promoted and popularized the style.
Bing's Maison de l'Art Nouveau
Maison de l'Art Nouveau (House of New Art) was the name of the gallery opened in 1895 by the German art dealer Samuel Bing in Paris that marked his exclusive focus on modern art.The fame of his gallery was increased at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, where he presented coordinated—in design and color—installations of modern furniture, tapestries and objets d'art. These fully-realized decorative displays became so strongly associated with the style that the name of his gallery subsequently provided a commonly-used term for the entire style: Art Nouveau.
This front cover of an 1896 edition of the German magazine Jugend is decorated in Art Nouveau motifs. Jugend was strongly associated with the style and the magazine's name inspired the German term for the movement, Jugendstil ("Jugend"-style).
Jugend and Jugendstil
Jugendstil typography, applied to a brewery sign
Jugend: Münchner illustrierte Wochenschrift für Kunst und Leben (English: Youth: the illustrated weekly magazine of art and lifestyle of Munich) was a magazine founded in 1896 by Georg Hirth.At the height of Art Nouveau, the magazine was instrumental in promoting the style in Germany. As a result, the magazine's name was adopted as the most common German-language term for the movement: Jugendstil ("Jugend-style"), although, in the early 20th century, the word was applied to only two-dimensional examples of the graphic arts, especially the forms of organic typography and graphic design found in and influenced by German-magazines like Jugend, Pan, and Simplicissimus. It is now broadly applied to the broader manifestations of Art Nouveau visual arts in Germany, the Netherlands, the Baltic states, and Nordic countries.
Other local names were associated with the characteristics of its forms, its practitioners and their works, and schools of thought or study where it was popular. Moreover, many terms approximate the idea of "newness." Before the term "Art Nouveau" became de rigueur in France, le style moderne ("the modern style") was the more frequent designation. Arte joven ("young art) in Spain, Arte nuova ("new art") in Italy, and Nieuwe kunst ("new art") in the Netherlands, модерн ("new", "contemporary") in Russia - all continue this theme.In similar manner, its modern characteristics gave way to the label of Catalan Modernisme in Barcelona. Many names refer specifically to the organic forms that were popular with the Art Nouveau artists: Stile Floreal ("floral style"), Lilienstil ("lily style"), Style Nouille ("noodle style"), Stile Vermicelli ("vermicelli", or "little worm noodle" style), Bandwurmstil ("tapeworm style"), Paling Stijl ("eel style"), and Wellenstil ("wave style").
In other cases, important examples, well-known artists, and associated locations influenced the names. Hector Guimard's Paris Métro entrances, for example, provided the term Style Métro, the popularity in Italy of Art Nouveau designs from London's Liberty & Co department store resulted in its being known as the Stile Liberty ("Liberty style"), and, in the United States, it became known as the "Tiffany style" due to its connection to Louis Comfort Tiffany. In Austria, a localized form of Art Nouveau was practiced by artists of the Vienna Secession, and it is, therefore, known as the Sezessionstil ("Secession style"). In the United Kingdom, it is associated with the activities of Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow, and is often known as the "Glasgow" style.
Art Nouveau tendencies were also absorbed into larger local movements. In Denmark, for example, it was one aspect of Skønvirke ("aesthetic activity"), which itself more closely relates to the Arts and Crafts Movement.Likewise, artists adopted many of the floral and organic motifs of Art Nouveau into the M?oda Polska ("Young Poland") movement in Poland.M?oda Polska, however, was also inclusive of other artistic styles and encompassed a broader approach to art, literature and lifestyle.
The book-cover by Arthur Mackmurdo for Wren's City Churches (1883) is often cited as the first realization of Art Nouveau
The origins of Art Nouveau are found in the resistance of William Morris to the cluttered compositions and the revival tendencies of the Victorian era and his theoretical approaches that helped initiate the Arts and crafts movement. However, Arthur Mackmurdo's book-cover for Wren's City Churches (1883), with its rhythmic floral patterns, is often considered the first realization of Art Nouveau. Around the same time, the flat-perspective and strong colors of Japanese woodcuts, especially those of Katsushika Hokusai, had a strong effect on the formulation of Art Nouveau's formal language.The wave of Japonisme that swept through Europe in the 1880s and 1890s was particularly influential on many artists with its organic forms, references to the natural world, and clear designs that contrasted strongly with the reigning taste. Besides being adopted by artists like Emile Gallé and James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Japanese-inspired art and design was championed by the businessmen Siegfried Bing and Arthur Lasenby Liberty at their stores in Paris and London, respectively.
Character of Art Nouveau
Although Art Nouveau took on distinctly localized tendencies as its geographic spread increased—discussed below—some general characteristics are indicative of the form. A description published in Pan magazine of Hermann Obrist's wall-hanging Cyclamen(1894) described it as "sudden violent curves generated by the crack of a whip,", which became well-known during the early spread of Art Nouveau. Subsequently, not only did the work itself become better-known as The Whiplash, but the term "whiplash" is frequently applied to the characteristic curves employed by Art Nouveau artists. Such decorative "whiplash" motifs, formed by dynamic, undulating, and flowing lines in a syncopated rhythm, are found throughout the architecture, painting, sculpture, and other forms of Art Nouveau design.
Philosophy and geography of Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is now considered a 'total' style, meaning that it encompasses a hierarchy of scales in design — architecture; interior design; decorative arts including jewelry, furniture, textiles, household silver and other utensils, and lighting; and the range of visual arts. (See Hierarchy of genres.)
Art Nouveau was a movement that was very broad in its scope. To many Europeans, it encompassed a whole way of life. It was possible to live in an art nouveau-inspired house with art nouveau furniture, silverware, crockery, jewellery, cigarette cases, etc. The Art Nouveau movement wanted to make art part of everyday life, thought to break all connections to classical times, and bring down the barriers between the fine arts and applied arts. Art Nouveau was underlined by a particular way of thinking about modern society and new production methods, attempting to redefine the meaning and nature of the work of art, so that art would not overlook any everyday object, no matter how utilitarian. Hence the name Art Nouveau - "New Art".
A high point in the evolution of Art Nouveau was the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris, which presented an overview of the 'modern style' in every medium. It achieved further recognition at the Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Decorativa Moderna of 1902 in Turin, Italy, where designers exhibited from almost every European country where Art Nouveau was practiced.
Belgium, Switzerland and France
Interior of a dome in the Grand Palais, Paris
In Paris, France, Maison de l'Art Nouveau, at the time run by Siegfried Bing, showcased objects that followed this approach to design. Artists such as Louis Majorelle and Victor Prouvé in Nancy, France, founded the Ecole de Nancy, giving Art Nouveau a new influence. In Brussels, Belgium the style was actively developed with the help of the architects Victor Horta and Henry Van de Velde. Other Art Nouveau designers in Belgium, Switzerland and France include Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, Alphonse Mucha, Hector Guimard and Émile Gallé.
The villa Schutzenberger in Strasbourg, now seat of the European Audiovisual Observatory, was built 1897-1900 by Berninger & Krafft and is considered a superb example of Jugendstil style.
German Art Nouveau is commonly known by its German name, Jugendstil. Drawing from traditional German printmaking, the style uses precise and hard edges, an element that was rather different from the naturalistic style of the time. The movement was centered in Munich and Darmstadt and was an essential element of the German movement. Within the field of Jugendstil art, there is a variety of different methods, applied by the various individual artists. Methods range from classic to romantic. One feature that sets Jugendstil apart is the typography used, whose letter and image combination is unmistakable. The combination was used for covers of novels, advertisements, and exhibition posters. Designers often used unique display typefaces that worked harmoniously with the image.
Henry Van de Velde, who worked most of his career in Germany, was a Belgian theorist who influenced many others to continue in this style of graphic art including Peter Behrens, Hermann Obrist, and Richard Riemerschmid. August Endell is another notable Art Nouveau designer.
Magazines were important in spreading the visual idiom of Jugendstil, especially the graphical qualities. Besides Jugend, other important ones were the satirical Simplicissimus and Pan.
The secession building in Vienna was built in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich for exhibitions of the secession group
A localized approach to Art Nouveau is represented by the artists of the Vienna Secession, a secession that was initiated on 3 April 1897 by Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Max Kurzweil, Otto Wagner, and others. They objected to the conservative orientation toward historicism expressed by the Vienna Künstlerhaus.
The Edward Everard building in Bristol, England
In the United Kingdom, Art Nouveau developed out of the Arts and Crafts Movement. The first stirrings of an Art Nouveau "movement" can be recognized in the 1880s, in a handful of progressive designs such as the architect-designer Arthur Mackmurdo's book cover design for his essay on the city churches of Sir Christopher Wren, published in 1883. Some free-flowing wrought iron from the 1880s could also be adduced, or some flat floral textile designs, most of which owed some impetus to patterns of High Victorian design. The most important center in Britain eventually became Glasgow, with the creations of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his circle.
Other notable British Art Nouveau designers include Walter Crane, Arthur Lasenby Liberty, Charles Ashbee and Aubrey Beardsley.
The Edward Everard building in Bristol, built in 1900-1 to house the printing works of Edward Everard, features an Art Nouveau façade. The figures depicted are of Johannes Gutenberg, and William Morris, both eminent in the field of printing. A winged figure symbolises the Spirit of Light, while a figure holding a lamp and mirror symbolises light and truth.
Church of St. Elisabeth in Bratislava, by Ödön Lechner.
Budapest, Museum of Applied Arts
The buildings display two noticeable styles, those of Historicism and Art Nouveau, or rather several variants of Art Nouveau. In contrast to Historicism, Hungarian Art Nouveau is based on the national architectural characteristics. Taking the eastern origins of the Hungarians into account, Ödön Lechner (1845–1914), the most important figure in Hungarian Art Nouveau, was initially inspired by Indian and Syrian architecture, and later by traditional Hungarian decorative designs. In this way, he created an original synthesis of architectural styles. By applying them to three-dimensional architectural elements, he produced a version of Art Nouveau that was specific to Hungary. Turning away from the style of Lechner, yet taking inspiration from his approach, the group of 'Young People' (Fiatalok), which included Károly Kós and Dezsö Zrumeczky, were to use the characteristic structures and forms of traditional Hungarian architecture to achieve the same end. Besides the two principal styles, the town also displays local versions of trends originating from other European countries. The Sezession from Vienna, the German Jugendstil, Art Nouveau from Belgium and France, and the influence of English and Finnish architecture are all reflected in the buildings constructed at the turn of the century. Béla Lajta initially adopted Lechner's style, subsequently drawing his inspiration from English and Finnish trends; after developing an interest in the Egyptian style, he finally arrived at modern architecture. Aladár Árkay took almost the same route. István Medgyaszay developed his own style, which differed from Lechner's, using stylised traditional motifs to create decorative designs in concrete. In the sphere of applied arts, those chiefly responsible for promoting the spread of Art Nouveau were the School and Museum of Decorative Arts, which opened in 1896.
The Casa Batlló, already built in 1877, was remodeled in the locally Barcelona manifestation of Art Nouveau,modernisme, by Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol in 1904–1906
In Spain, the movement was centered in Barcelona and was an essential element of the Catalan movement Modernisme. Architect Antoni Gaudí, whose decorative architectural style is so highly personal that he is sometimes seen as practising an artistic language separate from Art Nouveau, is nonetheless united with the movement by his use of floral and organic forms. His designs from around 1903, the Casa Batlló (1904–1906) and Casa Milà (1906–1908), are most closely related to the stylistic elements of Art Nouveau.However, famous structures such as the Sagrada Familia characteristically contrast the modernizing Art Nouveau tendencies with revivalist Neo-Gothic.Besides the dominating presence of Gaudí, Lluís Domènech i Montaner also explored the Art Nouveau language in Barcelona in buildings such as the Casa Lleó Morera (1905).
Prague and the Czech lands
The influence of Alphonse Mucha was felt in Prague and Moravia (part of the modern Czech Republic), whose style of Art Nouveau became associated with the Czech National Revival. Fin de siecle sections of Prague reveal modest buildings encrusted with leaves and ladies that curve and swirl across the facades. Examples of Art Nouveau in the city, along with the exteriors of any number of private apartment and commercial buildings, are the Hotel Pariz, Smíchov Market Hall, Hotel Central, the windows in the St. Wenceslas Chapel at St. Vitus Cathedral, the main railway station, Grand Hotel and the Jubilee Synagogue. The Olsany Cemetery and the New Jewish Cemetery are also important examples of Art Nouveau.
Central and Eastern Europe
Under Latvian Romanticism, Riga, the capital of Latvia, became home to over 800 Art Nouveau buildings many of which were designed and built by the prominent Latvian-Russian Art Nouveau architect Mikhail Eisenstein.
In Russia, the movement revolved around the art magazine Mir iskusstva ('World of Art'), which spawned the revolutionary Ballets Russes. The Polish movement centered in Krakow and was part of the Mloda Polska movement. Stanis?aw Wyspiański was the leading Art Nouveau artist in Poland, his paintings, theatrical designs, stained glass, and building interiors are widely admired and celebrated in the National Museum in Kraków. Art Nouveau buildings survive in most Polish cities, with the exception of Warsaw, where Communist authorities destroyed the few examples that survived the Nazi razing of the city on the grounds that the buildings were decadent.
House Feller , 1906. in Zagreb.
The Slovene Lands were another area influenced by Art Nouveau. At its beginning, Slovenian Art Nouveau was strongly influenced by the Viennese Secession, but it later developed an individual style. Important architects in this style include Max Fabiani, Ciril Metod Koch, Jo?e Ple?nik, and Ivan Vurnik, with the vast majority of the architecture to be found in Ljubljana.
Croatia has been an area of secessionist architecture as well. Architects like Vjekoslav Bastl and Baranyai developed a mixture between modernism and classical Art Nouveau
Italy's Stile Liberty reflected the modern design emanating from the Liberty & Co store, a sign both of the Art Nouveau's commercial aspect and the 'imported' character that it always retained in Italy. The spread of Art Nouveau in Portugal suffered a delay due to slowly developing industry, although the movement flourished. Especially in cities like Oporto and Aveiro, in which can be found numerous buildings influenced by European models mainly by French architecture. Art Nouveau was also popular in the Nordic countries, where it became integrated with the National Romantic Style. Good examples are the neighbourhoods of Katajanokka and Ullanlinna, located in Helsinki, Finland, as well as the Helsinki Central railway station, designed by the architect Eliel Saarinen. As in Germany, Jugendstil is the prevailing term used for the style. The Norwegian coastal town of Ålesund burned to the ground in 1904, and was rebuilt in a uniform Jugendstil architecture, kept more or less intact up to today. Although no significant artists in Australia are linked to the Art Nouveau movement, many buildings throughout Australia were designed in the Art Nouveau style. In Melbourne, the Victorian Arts Society, Milton House, Melbourne Sports Depot, Melbourne City Baths, Conservatorium of Music and Melba Hall, Paston Building, and Empire Works Building all reflect the Art Nouveau style. Montevideo, in South America's Rio de la Plata, offer a striking example of the influence of the Art Nouveau movement across the Atlantic. The presence of the style in architecture both of downtown and periphery of the city is very apparent. Montevideo maintained intense communication with Paris, London and Barcelona, during Art Nouveau's heyday, when the city was also receiving massive immigration, especially from Italy and Spain. Those were also the years Montevideo developed the key structure of its urban spaces, which help explains the widespread presence of Art Nouveau there.
The Art Nouveau style and approach has been applied in painting, architecture, furniture, glassware, graphic design, jewelry, pottery, metalwork, and textiles and sculpture. This is in line with the Art Nouveau philosophy that art should become part of everyday life.
In architecture, hyperbolas and parabolas in windows, arches, and doors are common, and decorative moldings 'grow' into plant-derived forms. Like most design styles, Art Nouveau sought to harmonize its forms. The text above the Paris Metro entrance follows the qualities of the rest of the iron work in the structure.
Art Nouveau in architecture and interior design eschewed the eclectic revival styles of the Victorian era. Though Art Nouveau designers selected and 'modernized' some of the more abstract elements of Rococo style, such as flame and shell textures, they also advocated the use of highly stylized organic forms as a source of inspiration, expanding the 'natural' repertoire to embrace seaweed, grasses, and insects.
Painting and graphic arts
Two-dimensional Art Nouveau pieces were painted, drawn, and printed in popular forms such as advertisements, posters, labels, magazines, and the like. Japanese wood-block prints, with their curved lines, patterned surfaces, contrasting voids, and flatness of visual plane, also inspired Art Nouveau. Some line and curve patterns became graphic clichés that were later found in works of artists from all parts of the world.
Louis Comfort Tiffany's 1890 window Education
Glass and ceramics
Glass art was an area in which the style found tremendous expression — for example, the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany in New York, Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow and Émile Gallé and the Daum brothers in Nancy, France.
Objets d'Art and other examples
Jewelry of the Art Nouveau period revitalised the jeweler's art, with nature as the principal source of inspiration, complemented by new levels of virtuosity in enameling and the introduction of new materials, such as opals and semi-precious stones. The widespread interest in Japanese art, and the more specialised enthusiasm for Japanese metalworking skills, fostered new themes and approaches to ornament. For the previous two centuries, the emphasis in fine jewelry had been on gemstones, particularly on the diamond, and the jeweler or goldsmith had been principally concerned with providing settings for their advantage. With Art Nouveau, a different type of jewelry emerged, motivated by the artist-designer rather than the jeweler as setter of precious stones. The jewelers of Paris and Brussels defined Art Nouveau in jewelry, and, in these cities, it achieved the most renown. Contemporary French critics were united in acknowledging that jewelry was undergoing a radical transformation, and that the French designer-jeweler-glassmaker René Lalique was at its heart. Lalique glorified nature in jewelry, extending the repertoire to include new aspects of nature — dragonflies or grasses — inspired by his encounter with Japanese art. The jewelers were keen to establish the new style in a noble tradition, and for this they looked back to the Renaissance, with its jewels of sculpted and enameled gold, and its acceptance of jewelers as artists rather than craftsmen. In most of the enameled work of the period, precious stones receded. Diamonds were usually given subsidiary roles, used alongside less-familiar materials such as moulded glass, horn, and ivory.
Relationship with contemporary styles and movements
As an art movement it has affinities with the Pre-Raphaelites and the Symbolism movement, and artists like Aubrey Beardsley, Alphonse Mucha, Edward Burne-Jones, Gustav Klimt, and Jan Toorop could be classed in more than one of these styles. Unlike Symbolist painting, however, Art Nouveau has a distinctive visual look; and, unlike the artisan-oriented Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau artists quickly used new materials, machined surfaces, and abstraction in the service of pure design. Art Nouveau did not negate the machine as the Arts and Crafts Movement did, but used it to its advantage. For sculpture, the principle materials employed were glass and wrought iron, leading to sculptural qualities even in architecture. It made use of many technological innovations of the late 19th century, especially the broad use of exposed iron and large, irregularly shaped pieces of glass in architecture. By the start of the First World War, however, the highly stylised nature of Art Nouveau design—which itself was expensive to produce—began to be dropped in favour of more streamlined, rectilinear modernism that was cheaper and thought to be more faithful to the rough, plain, industrial aesthetic that became Art Deco.
Noted Art Nouveau practitioners