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Introduction to Art Nouveau
Brussels, capital of Art Nouveau
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ARTS and CRAFTS MOVEMENT: history by senses-artnouveau.com



United Kingdom

Founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement in England, William Morris worked for the renaissance of decorative arts. He studied medieval architecture at Oxford, but under the influence of Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriele Rossetti, leaders of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, he turned toward painting and writing.In 1861, they founded together a guild of fine arts craftsmen and began to produce furniture, tapestry, stained glass, tiles, fabrics and the most famous wallpaper designs.

They also explored the total vision of art and craft for Red House, in South London countryside, where every detail of architecture, furnishing and decorative elements were completed as a whole artwork.

In order to create art "made by people and for the people" and fight against fierce modernization or destruction of old buildings, which were undergoing during the Industrial Revolution.. The works of William Morris, the emotional and mythical themes he explored, his love of country-garden nature and medieval ideals of chivalry as well as the romantic attachment to forests, gardens, flowers and birds, which would recur in his art and his poetry throughout his life, were an inspiring contribution to Art Nouveau artists, such as Victor Horta and Henri van de Velde.

Moreover, Morris was a pioneer of new artistic ideals, as he fiery celebrated all the "minor arts" from the wooden furniture to the naturalistic flower-and-foliage prints, from weaving tapestries and embroidery to mural painting, from stained glass windows to tiles design. He has also influenced the modernist movement Bauhaus, which would later celebrate the idea that ''there is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman".

Archibald Knox studied art and later was a teacher on the Isle of Man, England. He then worked as designer for the famous Art Nouveau retail firm, Liberty & Co. in London. In 1880, the firm produced Arts and Crafts-style furniture and following the new concept of the renaissance of applied arts, it began mass production of high quality metalware and small items.

Along with architect Victor Horta, Henri van de Velde was very influential in the birth of Belgian Art Nouveau Style. . In 1898 he became member of the avant-garde group "Les Vingt" in Brussels, where he familiarized with the English Arts and Crafts Movement and the works of William Morris.He published several books and essays on his original art theories, such as "Le Déblaiement d'Art" (1895), "Renaissance in Arts and Crafts" (1901).

Frank Lloyd Wright began his practice with Louis H. Sullivan, the first American Art Nouveau architect, and was one of the most productive and revolutionary American architects at that time. Contemporary of Belgian Art Nouveau designers Henry van de Velde and Victor Horta, he was influenced by the British Arts and Crafts Movement, as he worked for architectural and social emancipation.

  • EXTERNAL LINKS to Arts & Crafts

    -The Founders Of The Arts & Crafts Movement 1870 - 1900: a complete page.

    -The Arts & Crafts Movement: a large selection of biographies and links.

    -The Arts & Crafts Movement in Great Britain: with roots, dates and links.

    -The Arts & Crafts buildings: a good selection.

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