... "There was once a time when everyone still appreciated the mysterious and wonderful touch of a craftsmanship, and in which imagination and fantasy entered into everything that was created by man. At that time all the craftsmen were artists, as we would say today. But human thought became more complicated, and it was increasingly difficult to transform it into art. This made coping with the growing artistic commitments more difficult. Artistic work was increasingly divided between significant, less significant and insignificant men. In the end, this art, which once was nothing but rest and relaxation for the soul and body, degenerated, for some men into such a serious work that life, subjugated to it, took the form of a single long drama of fear and hope, of joy and pain. So art came to maturity. Like every process of maturation, this too was for some time good and fruitful, but then followed by a period of decline. As from the decline of every once fruitful being, something new will also be born from it. "(William Morris)
HOW THE MOVEMENT IS BORN:
ARTS AND CRAFTS
We often hear about "Arts and Crafts". This expression has now entered the common language and gives a good idea of those jobs (such as cabinetmaking) which are handcrafted but which we can be considered artistic. Arts and Crafts was born as a reformist current created by English artists and intellectuals that promote the revaluation of craftsmanship by despising low-quality products and the mixture of styles of industrial production in the second half of the 19th century (Eclecticism).
Characteristics: organic shapes, curved lines, vegetable or floral ornaments. Oriental images, especially Japanese prints, with equally curvilinear shapes, illustrated surfaces, contrasting voids, and the sheer flatness of some prints, were an important source of inspiration. Some types of lines and curves became clichés, later used by artists all over the world. Another factor of great importance is that Art Nouveau did not deny the use of machinery as it happened in other contemporary movements, such as that of Arts and Crafts, but they were used and integrated in the creation of the work. In terms of the materials used, the primary source was certainly glass and wrought iron, wood, leading to a real form of sculpture and architecture.
This innovative movement originated in England and spread rapidly throughout Europe, involving almost every field of life at the time. Each branch of artistic craftsmanship became the field of the Art Nouveau artists, especially interior decoration, which assumed a very important role in the consciousness of the bourgeois society of the century.
William Morris was one of the main precursors of this movement, arguing that art and production must work together so that the quality of life was not represented exclusively by the possession of objects but also by one's aesthetic sense and good taste.
Morris, a tenacious opponent of mass production and the industrial revolution, encouraged the revival of craftsmanship in its most traditional and ancient forms. His aim was to have all artisans considered as artists because manual art should have enjoyed the same dignity as painting and sculpture.
In 1861 Morris founded the company Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. The ornamental motifs he created are still a trademark of Sanderson and Sons and Liberty of London.
France developed its own style, elegant and lively, already very joyful for the decorations, the preciousness of the materials and the wealth of ideas in the shapes. There were two centers where Art Nouveau developed: Nancy and Paris. Louis Majorelle, one of the most prominent artists of the moment, in 1879 carried on his father's company and was distinguished by highly prestigious and highly decorated furniture. The active artists were numerous: Alexandre Charpentier, Hector Guimard, Charles Masson ... They found a rich already fertile soil in their territorial area.
In Italy, the name "liberty" derives from that of the warehouses founded in London in 1875 by A. Lasenby Liberty, specialized in the sale of products from the Far East. In fact, one of the key features of Art Nouveau is the fascination for distant and mysterious lands. It is a fresh, floral style that involves painting, drawing, architecture but also design and craftsmanship. Art Nouveau was born as a reaction to the industrial production of objects made possible by the automation processes of the late nineteenth century. To escape the standardization of the product, the Art Nouveau artists innovated it, embellished it with a personal touch to make it unique.
HOW TO FURNISH IN LIBERTY STYLE:
The liberty furniture gives at first sight a feeling of softness thanks to the rounded lines. An art nouveau decor opts for slightly angular furniture models and chairs with upholstered cushions. Sofas and armchairs with rounded edges, with rich padding and brocade coverings make a fine show in Art Nouveau living rooms.
As for the materials, however, wood, marble, glass and wrought iron cannot be missing in an Art Nouveau house. Mirrors with floral-themed decorated frames, art nouveau paintings, gold lacquered clocks and table lamps, chandeliers and ceiling lights with glass mosaics: these are the furnishing elements that characterize the vintage style of the last century.
Carpets are fundamental, They must be particularly abundant and luxurious, with patterns and motifs always inspired by nature. The window curtains will also follow the same line chosen for the rest of the Art Nouveau furniture. As for the colors, all shades of white and gold dominate, chromatic shades that recall the world of luxury.
Enrich your environment with this multifaceted type of furniture and don't be afraid to overdo it!
Rich is better :-)