Some of my twelve readers maybe wondered why the restyling of the szecesszio.com web site removed some of the typical curves of the previous layout in favor of a completely new decoration, which doesn’t look coherent with the typical art nouveau stylistic background.
Well, my dear readers, you are wrong The new site layout, and in particular the new floral decoration which adorns szecesszio.com is really typical as far as the Hungarian Secession is concerned. One of the stylistic topic of the development of the New Style here in Hungary, was exactly the use (and sometimes the abuse) of flowers related decors.
The fundamental work was the essay on the Hungarian folklore art due to the ethnologist József Huszka. In 1885 he published a booklet entitled “Magyar dicsőítő styl”, “The Hungarian Floral Style”. In his essay, Huszka pointed out that the Hungarian folk art was filled by decorations which basically recalls, in an essential manner, the forms and the lines of the countryside flowers. This essay was really influending as far as the development of the Art Nouveau in Hungary is concerned and, more in general, if one considers the quest of a very specific National Style. That quest, as we pointed out in this blog several times, was a topic of many Secessionist Hungarian artists, from Karoly Kos, to Odon Lechner, from the architect Bela Lajta to the influencing art historian and critic Karoly Lyka. Just to mention some of the work which are evidently influenced by this Floral Style:
Not surprisingly, this attitude towards stylized floral decorations was not typical as decors for building’s façades. At the turn of the century, a reprisal of the National folk art elements, and mainly the floral style was a common topic even for book illustrations. I have found some very interesting examples, some days ago, in a book in my Africa library. The publication is really the almanac for the year 1907 of the Hungarian Printers Association (Magyar Nyomda Évkönyv). In an article on the Hunfarian Floral Folk style, several plates filled by example of such a style are eventually presented, due to the drawings of Antal Aigner. Here you go !