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Michèle Lavallée

[Fr.: ‘new art’]

Decorative style of the late 19th century and the early 20th that flourished principally in Europe and the USA. Although it influenced painting and sculpture, its chief manifestations were in architecture and the decorative and graphic arts, the aspects on which this survey concentrates. It is characterized by sinuous, asymmetrical lines based on organic forms; in a broader sense it encompasses the geometrical and more abstract patterns and rhythms that were evolved as part of the general reaction to 19th-century historicism. There are wide variations in the style according to where it appeared and the materials that were employed.

Art Nouveau has been held to have had its beginnings in 1894 or 1895. A more appropriate date would be 1884, the year the progressive group Les XX was founded in Belgium, and the term was used in the periodical that supported it, Art Moderne: ‘we are believers in Art Nouveau’. The origin of the name is usually attributed to ...


Alan Crawford

Informal movement in architecture and the decorative arts that championed the unity of the arts, the experience of the individual craftsman, and the qualities of materials and construction in the work itself.

The Arts and Crafts Movement developed in the second half of the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th, drawing its support from progressive artists, architects and designers, philanthropists, amateurs, and middle-class women seeking work in the home. They set up small workshops apart from the world of industry, revived old techniques, and revered the humble household objects of pre-industrial times. The movement was strongest in the industrializing countries of northern Europe and in the USA, and it can best be understood as an unfocused reaction against industrialization. Although quixotic in its anti-industrialism, it was not unique; indeed it was only one among several late 19th-century reform movements, such as the Garden City movement, vegetarianism, and folksong revivals, that set the Romantic values of nature and folk culture against the artificiality of modern life....


(b Brussels, Aug 20, 1848; d Ixelles, Brussels, Dec 13, 1914).

Belgian architect, designer, painter and writer . He came from a family of artists: one brother, Charles Baes, was a glass painter and two others, Henri Baes and Pierre Baes, were decorative painters. Jean Baes studied decorative design at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, and, from 1867 to 1871, in the firm of Charle-Albert. He subsequently trained in architecture in the studios of Emile Janlet, Wynand Janssens and Alphonse Balat. Baes devoted most of his professional career—which was cut short in 1895 by a debilitating illness—to architecture but he also worked as an interior designer, a graphic designer, an architectural draughtsman and, especially, as a watercolourist of architectural subjects. In 1872 he was a founder-member of Belgium’s Société Centrale d’Architecture and after 1874 he collaborated on its journal, L’Emulation. In 1886 he became Assistant Director of the newly established Ecole des Arts Décoratifs, Brussels, where his pupils included Paul Hankar and ...


Laura Mattioli Rossi

Italian family of artists, architects and collectors . Pietro Bagatti Valsecchi (b Milan, 15 April 1802; d Milan, 27 Nov 1864) was adopted by Baron Lattanzio Valsecchi and assumed the latter’s surname and inherited his estate. He gained a degree in mathematics and physics but later devoted himself to painting miniatures on ivory, enamel, glass, metal and porcelain, specializing in these techniques in Paris and Geneva. Returning to Milan, he soon gained considerable recognition for such work and took part in major exhibitions. In 1837 he presented a group of works at the Salon in Paris, including a miniature copy on ivory of Francesco Hayez’s Mary Queen of Scots Mounting the Scaffold (1827; Milan, Bagatti Valsecchi Col.) and a copy on porcelain of Francesco Podesti’s Raphael’s Studio (Milan, Bib. Ambrosiana). In 1842 he was made a noble of the Austrian Empire for his artistic achievements, and the Emperor Ferdinand acquired one of his paintings on porcelain, ...


German, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 14 April 1868, in Hamburg; died 27 February 1940, in Berlin.

Painter, draughtsman, engraver, architect, designer, decorative artist, graphic designer. Posters, furniture, wallpaper, carpets, glassware, ceramics, table services, jewellery, silverwork, objets d'art, typefaces.

Jugendstil, functional school.

Die Sieben (Group of Seven), Deutscher Werkbund...


(b Courtrai [Flem. Kortrijk], April 25, 1821; d Marke, June 18, 1894).

Belgian architect, designer, mural and glass painter. Born into a prominent family, he was originally destined for a career in politics or administration but became known, in the words of W(illiam) H(enry) J(ames) Weale, as the ‘ Pugin of Belgium’ (Building News, xxxvi, 1879, p. 350). From 1837 to 1842 he read law at Leuven University and followed a basic training as an artist at the Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Courtrai and as a pupil of L. Verhaegen and Jules Victor Génisson (1805–60). Under the guidance of Paulus Lauters he became a skilful draughtsman of landscapes; he also took lessons with the sculptor C. H. Geerts (1807–55), who was an important pioneer of the Gothic Revival style. Through personal contacts with Charles Forbes René, Comte de Montalembert, and A. W. N. Pugin (see Pugin family, §2) and through his tours of England in ...


Catherine Brisac

French town and château some 8 km south-east of Paris, in the département of Val-de-Marne. The château was built (1680–86) for Anne-Marie-Louise d’Orléans, Duchesse de Montpensier (1627–93), by Jacques Gabriel IV. His design was a simple one, with strong horizontal lines countered by tall rectangular windows and rusticated quoins to the shallow projecting bays. Artists employed on the interior decoration included the painters Antoine Coypel, Gabriel Blanchard, Jean Le Moyne and Adam Frans van der Meulen and the sculptor Etienne Le Hongre. The grounds were laid out by André Le Nôtre. Used as a hunting-lodge by Louis XV, King of France, from 1740, the château was enlarged by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in several campaigns (1742–52), the additions including a gallery, a theatre and various garden buildings. Much sculpture was commissioned for the grounds, which were remodelled, including work by René-Michel Slodtz and Edmé Bouchardon. In ...


French, 19th century, male.

Born 13 October 1836, in Paris; died 15 April 1902, in Paris.

Glass painter, draughtsman, architect.

Édouard Amédée Didron was the nephew and adopted son of Adolphe Napoléon Didron. He exhibited at the Salons of 1857 and 1859 and published numerous works on stained glass and related techniques....


German, 19th century, male.

Born 12 February 1835, in Munich; died 22 May 1891, in Munich.

Architect, glass painter.

Dopfer created stained glass windows for the churches of Herheim, Esslingen, Mamberg, Wintherthur and others.


Damie Stillman

Architectural and decorative arts style that flourished in the USA from shortly after the acknowledgement of independence in the Treaty of Paris (1783) until c. 1820. The term is derived from the period surrounding the creation of the federal constitution in 1787 and was in use in a political sense by that year. Essentially it was a form of Neo-classicism, strongly influenced by manifestations of that style in England and, to a lesser extent, in France; but at times certain more conservative qualities inherited from the previous Colonial period are also present. The inspiration of European, and especially English, Neo-classical architecture was to be expected in a society grounded in that of 18th-century England; but an added impetus was the association often cited at the time between the fledgling American republic and the ancient Roman one.

Although a few indications of European Neo-classical influence are found in the American colonies before the Revolution began in ...


German, 19th century, male.

Born 19th century, in Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland).

Glass painter.

Glinsky was trained by the architecture painter Joh.-Karl Schutz in Danzig, then by Brulow at the academy in St Petersburg. In 1843, he went to Berlin where he devoted himself to glass painting....



(b 1856; d 1914).

Russian architect based in St Petersburg. One of the first of his designs to be built was the church of the Virgin of Joy for All Sorrowing (Bogomater’ vsekh skorbyashchikh radosti) attached to the glass factory on Obukhovskaya Oborona Prospect (1894–8, destr. 1932; chapel survives), with Aleksandr Ivanov. This was a fantasy on the theme of 17th-century national religious architecture: a three-part structure (bell-tower, refectory, church), with the orthodox five domes and kokoshniki typical of the Moscow school of architecture. The church was an example of the ‘Russian style’ of the reign of Alexander III (reg 1881–94), leading to the Russo-Byzantine style of Konstantin Ton and Nikolay Yefimov. Gogen’s use of the ‘Russian style’ was highly original, as in the central market building in Nizhny Novgorod (end of the 1880s; with K. Treyman, A. Trambitsky and Nikolay Ivanov), with its fairytale decoration and use of kokoshniki, ogee arches and other elements from Old Russian architecture....


Swiss, 19th century, male.

Born 13 June 1843, in Basel; died 1908, in Lausanne.

Glass painter, architect.

He did stained glass windows in Bern and Geneva Cathedral, among other places.


French, 19th century, male.

Born 1806, in Mont-St-Sulpice (Yonne); died 1883, in Paris.

Painter. Historical subjects, battles, genre scenes, architectural interiors, landscapes. Designs for stained glass.

Prosper Lafaye was a pupil of Auguste Couder in Paris. He exhibited at the Salon de Paris under the names of Lafait and Lafay ...


German, 19th century, male.

Born 1839, in Frankfurt am Main; died 1902, in Frankfurt am Main.

Glass painter, draughtsman, architect. Designs for stained glass.

Alexander Linnemann worked in Dresden and Frankfurt. He drew the cartoons for the windows of Frankfurt Cathedral and three glass panels for the Reichstag in Berlin....


Swiss, 19th century, male.

Born 24 February 1858, in Zurich; died 1903.

Glass painter, decorative designer.

Johann Albert Lüthi devoted himself first to architecture, and then to decorative painting on glass. In October of 1901, he was appointed director of the arts school in Zurich, a position which he held until three months before he died. His works include the stair window at the Henneburg gallery in Zurich, several window panes in the church of St Michael in Zug, and the decoration of the Parliament Palace in Bern. He received a gold medal and the medal of the Grand Duke of Baden at the painted glass exhibition in Karlsruhe....


Spanish, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 6 January 1873, in Barcelona; died 27 April 1940, in Vilanova i la Geltrú (Catalonia).

Painter, draughtsman (including charcoal), illustrator, decorative designer. Landscapes, seascapes, architectural views, urban views, harbour scenes. Wall decorations, designs for stained glass.

Joaquín Mir y Trinxet's father made him study with a view to a commercial career. He was a pupil at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Barcelona. He was part of the art groups in Barcelona ...


French, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1857, in Seurre (Côte d'Or); died 1951, in Brussels.

Painter, draughtsman, watercolourist, designer of ornamental architectural features, designer. Portraits, figures, interiors, genre scenes, landscapes. Designs for stained glass, furniture.

Symbolism, Art Nouveau.

Auguste Morisot was a pupil at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyons. He was sent on a mission to Venezuela in ...


John Kenworthy-Browne and Lin Barton

(b Milton Bryant, Beds, Aug 3, 1803; d Sydenham, Kent, June 9, 1865).

English horticulturalist, garden designer, and architect. He established his reputation as a gardener at Chatsworth House, Derbys, where he developed new construction techniques for glasshouses. This work inspired his acclaimed and influential ‘Crystal Palace’, which housed the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London (see fig.).

The youngest son of a farmer, Paxton lacked formal education and his professional training was in horticulture. He worked at Battlesden, Beds, and other country house gardens before employment in 1823 at the Horticultural Society’s new garden at Chiswick. While there he encountered the 6th Duke of Devonshire, who, impressed by his intelligence and bearing, asked him in May 1826 to be head gardener at Chatsworth, Derbys. Paxton rapidly brought the neglected garden to be possibly the most famous and influential in England. From 1831 he also edited and wrote in botanical magazines, becoming widely known and publishing many details of plants and improvements at Chatsworth (e.g. ...


Gavin Townsend

(b Lichtenheim, Lower Bavaria, Dec 3, 1818; d Munich, Feb 10, 1901).

German chemist. Although best known for his research into the causes of cholera and typhoid, he was also involved in art and architecture. In 1845, a year after completing his doctorate in chemistry, he obtained a post at the Royal Mint of Bavaria. Here he discovered a way of reproducing porporino, an antique red glass much used by the ancient Romans and admired by Ludwig I of Bavaria. In 1849, when a professor of medical chemistry at the university in Munich, Pettenkofer developed, at the request of the architect Leo von Klenze, a process of manufacturing a building cement that was the equal of Portland cement. Pettenkofer’s greatest contribution to art, however, lay in the restoration of paintings. In 1863 he was asked to find a way of reversing the growth of mildew on the varnishes of oil paintings in the various galleries of Munich. Through experimentation and microscopic analysis, he discovered that the varnishes could be cleared through the application of hot alcohol vapour. In this endeavour Pettenkofer introduced the use of the ...