In an age when machines and industrialisation had vigorously entered the life of European society, a need was felt to find different, modern models,which were suitable for the new daily life. Once again, nature was taken as a model and symbol. Many books have already highlighted that this new style, which was applied to all the decorative arts, had many schools and names in different countries: art nouveau, stile floreal (floral style), liberty, jugendstil, modern style and many others. However, all had a common denominator: managing to reproduce nature in its infinite beauty, flowing, rounded lines regardless of the material used as well as its uniqueness, despite thefact that things were produced in series by modern machines. The magnificence of this style is not in the high points achieved by Henry van de Velde or some other artistic genius of the time, but rather in the boundless anonymous productions – in most cases – or of enlightened societies that used creative geniuses who were mostly unknown. There is cutlery, door handles, lamps, vases, tins, posters, books, furniture, everyday objects which fix nature in its greatest splendour. The new technologies allow the use of any material: metal or plaster, wood or glass. Life in the late nineteenth century was ‘invaded’ by floral designs, both in public places and at home. It is the material used that marks the chapters of this book, showing new details of the perfection of the art nouveau style. Nature in paper, tin, metal, iron, glass, ceramic, wood flowers, cutlery and tableware: the decorations of the early twentieth century of modern furniture,the WMF, French producers: Gallè and Daum; the Austrian producer: Loetz, the Mackintosh School, The English Rose, The Italian School: Mazzuccotelli, the European Art Nouveau reviews: Jugend and the first illustrations by Koloman Moser.
Giovanni Renzi, an architect who graduated from the Milan Polythecnic, is recognised as one of the greatest experts and scholars of curved beech furniture. He has written many publications dedicated to Thonet and, since 2002, he is the history consultant of the Vienna based company Gebrüder Thonet.
For further information please contact:
Giunti International Division