Art Nouveau in Riga Architecture

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  • Topic: Art Nouveau, Sergei Eisenstein, House
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Art Nouveau in Riga Architecture

Riga
2009

Contents

1. Art Nouveau……………………………………………………………….....3 2. Art Nouveau in Riga..………………………………………………………...3 3. Art Nouveau in other areas..……………………………………….….……...4 4. Elizabetes street 10b..……………………………………………….………..4 5. Assessment…………………………………………………...……..………..7 6. References……………………………………………………………………8

1. Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau 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 Art nouveau, German for 'youth style', named after the magazine Jugend, which promoted it. 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. Art Nouveau's fifteen-year peak was strongly felt throughout Europe—from Glasgow to Moscow to Spain—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 art form, 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, Alfons 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/Art nouveau 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.

2. Art Nouveau in Riga

Riga, the capital of Latvia, is an Art Nouveau city. The city centre contains the finest concentration of Art Nouveau buildings in the world: more than one third of all buildings there is of Art Nouveau style. It is an urban ensemble, inscribed on the World Heritage List. The early 20th century was the "golden age" for the development of the city. It became one of the major centres of industry, trade and culture on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The population approximately doubled over the course of 15 years, surpassing 500,000 on the eve of World War I. The first Art Nouveau buildings in Riga appeared as early as 1899. Already after 1904 Eclecticism disappeared from Riga's construction activity, being completely replaced by Art Nouveau. This new style there was inspired by German, Austrian and Finnish architecture, but rooted mainly in local cultural traditions. Primarily local architects were employed, most of them having been graduated from the Architectural Department (established 1869) of the Riga Polytechnic Institute. In wide diversity of formal trends of Art Nouveau of Riga rather restrained,...
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