Archive for March, 2010

 Artist

Joseph Maria Olbrich (* 22.12.1867 – † 08.08.1908)

 Co-Worker

Gustav Klimt (Beethoven frieze)

 Year 

1897-1898

 Location/Map

 Style

The motto of the Secession, "Der Zeit ihre Kunst. Der Kunst ihre Freihei" constitutes a sort programmatic goal for the building itself.
Olbrich’s design was for a wing with a central entrance, surrounded by side rooms and a hall adjoining exhibition hall. The representative entry part combines the exterior walls of solid cubes as a structured entity, the center of a golden dome surrounded by four pylons. The pure white plaster facades have been geometrically arranged and adorned with a decoration in an entirely new, stylized shapes. Vegetable and geometric ornaments, such as the laurel trees growing up along the edges were cut directly in the plastering and completely flat on hold. The decoration also came to symbolic significance. Main motive was the laurel tree, the crown of the broken, of gilded leaves and berries, and the existing dome "Ver Sacrum" symbolizes the dawn of the new art . The smooth, white facades meant not a step to sobriety, but were an expression of purity and grandeur, "Walls … white and shiny, holy and chaste "(Olbrich). Forms, which give the effect of a "reliance on an archaic geometry" (Achleitner), the construction of a sacral taste. With the reduction to the basic form refers to the origin that is associated with a claim to renewal. The hall for exhibitions, however, was conceived to create an environment at the same time simple and functional, flexible, and covered by tent-like roofs of uniform glass skylight. It was designed for exhibitions of contemporary art and became a pioneering prototype. The so utterly new and strange-looking entrance, constructed of three interlocking cubes with a central, domed hall, however, followed a tradition, (approach inherited from his teacher Hasenauer Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), which Olbrich in 1891 used his design for the Museum of Decorative Arts Opava had.

 Pictures

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 References


Article on Der Architekt (Volume 5, 1899)

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Zala György frieze on his own villa

 Artist

Zala György

 Co-Worker

Architect: Lajos Jambor (Frommer)
Architect: Odon Lechner
Interior Architect: Ede Toroczkai Wigand

 Year 

1900 – 1901

 Location/Map

 Style

Designed in typical Art Nouveau style, Zala’s villa presents on the façade  Zala’s own relief, The Celebration Of Venus.

 Pictures

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 References

The turn of the century – the era when the art of György Zala was awakened and reached maturity – is one of the most exciting periods in Hungarian social and cultural history, and one that is uniquely rich in works of art.
His development, his personality as an artist and his immense capacity for work have made him along with contemporaries such as Alajos Strobl and János Fadrusz one of the definitive figures of the time and a chronicler of the period on account of his prolific output.
He lived for his work. His life was long and he continued to work throughout his life. Even during the confusing, tormented, crisisridden times following the First World War, he received noteworthy commissions.

http://www.zalagyorgy.info/lang3/index.html

http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zala_Gy%C3%B6rgy

 

The Studio, Volume 26– dr. Enrico Thovez, “The first international exhibition of modern decorative Art”

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The Studio, Volume 27 – Turin 1902: the Austrian Section

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The Studio, Volume 27 – Turin 1902: the German Section

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The Studio, Volume 27 – Turin 1902: the Italian Section

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The Studio, Volume 26 – Turin 1902: the Scottish Section

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The Studio, Volume 26 – Turin 1902: the Dutch and English Sections

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As appeared in Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, Volume 19, freely translated by Mattia Moretti.

Commonly referred to be the minor art craft, design is now often in a critical economic situation, while the commercial art itself is undergoing a decided improvement process. By the point of view of the artisan it is therefore understandably how difficult is to recognize this last fact. It seems the actual artistic production tends to  eliminate the matter of the subject, and only point out the beauty of the constriction style. Alan has drawn contras with the mediating sentence: The art design is moving in a wavy line, the depth of the constructions form follows the height of the ornament.
[…]

This internal process can be seen when on the question: What is actually an ornament? – Reflect.

Our time is looking for the naked scope, pure form, the design, material-and specialty-use item!Outwardly, it seems as if they do it for the sake of fashion. But in reality it just by looking – the ornament.
That this effort meets us in the form of a dogma, we could easily understand if we consider that the despotism of the unreal hollow ornament was of course an extreme reaction yield. Basically hostility is only against the false Ornaments, the useless ornaments. The ornament is the non-purpose expression, opposed to the heightened artistic expression.

Any request to the aesthetic of usage, imposed by the practical man himself, attracts an aesthetic, artistic, therefore it is supposed to be the  goal of the artistic product by itself. The more civilized man, is the one who is completely involved in his way of life. And this indeed dictated the purpose of utilities. The more purified is the life style, the more so is the form of the object.
The shape is adorned in a clean way to enhance the functional form. Contrasts are then eliminated by Jewelry form and functional role. And all the argument about which of the two is the "right" is completely passing over.

Logically, the Ornament could – but should be part of a developed, healthy functional form – despite all the efforts made by craftsmen to avoid it. Empire and Biedermeier period are not our style. We have a different view of life than our fathers case, a different spirit. But our spirit and our view of life have emerged from those, and so must our style emerge from that time.

Thus it is clear that we end the bare preaching style, because we stay for the ornaments. The primitive functional form is no longer the expression for the nowadays selfish Aesthetics of enjoyment. We need to achieve the new Ornament! – We should all want the ornament. We fight for it as we defend the truthfulness of the utility object. And then, the battle cry: Here ornaments! Construction form here!

There is no overcoming in Ornament. Walt Whitman’s words: a thing is without ornament at its best! – Is only partly correct. To deal with things with and without ornament is in art actually impossible. The ornament we recognize from the thing itself is what we may safely pronounce, without any doubt that for us the spirit of embellishment which cannot reach the depths of our souls is hateful. – PAUL BROECKER (HAMBURG.)

In a famous essay entitled “Et in Arcadia Ego: Poussin and the Elegiac Tradition”, the art historian and philosopher of art Erwin Panofsky takes in exam the influences of the influencing Latin motto “Et in Arcadia Ego” in the history of art. In particular, the essay of Panofsky is centered on the figure of the French artist Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) and his influencing painting “Les Bergers d’Arcadie".

The Latin sentence itself is a sort of recurring Motto in Latin literature:

The first appearance of a tomb with a memorial inscription (to Daphnis) amid the idyllic settings of Arcadia appears in Virgil’s Eclogues V 42 ff. Virgil took the idealized Sicilian rustics that had first appeared in the Idylls of Theocritusand set them in the primitive Greek district of Arcadia (see Eclogues VII and X). The idea was taken up anew in the circle of Lorenzo de’ Medici in the 1460s and 1470s, during the Florentine Renaissance

Taken by Wikipedia, voice “Et in Arcadia Ego”

In the history of visual art, we encounter the this theme in a painting by Guercino:

Quite surprisingly, Panofsy in his essay takes into consideration, as first insight, one of the latest interpretation of the theme, due to the painter Sir Joshua Reynolds:

Reynolds explained the presence of the Latin sentence as a sort of memento of the ineluctability of death. He also reported that even  King George III who had seen the painting said, "ay, ay, death is even in Arcadia."

The point here gives to Panofsky the opportunity to clarify the meaning and interpretation of “Arcadia”:

in the imagination of Virgil, and of Virgil alone, that the concept of Arcady, as we know it, was born— a bleak and chilly district of Greece came to be transfigured into an imaginary realm of perfect bliss. But no sooner had this new, Utopian Arcady come into being than a discrepancy was felt between the supernatural perfection of an imaginary environment and the natural limitations of human life as it is.

Erwin Panofsky, “Et in Arcadia Ego & the Elegiac Tradition”

The literary and allegoric myth usually associated with Arcadia depicted the simple mannered delights of “Arcady”, a dreaming folk is seeking to retreat from the pressures and complexities of urban life, in a pastoral country. Likewise, her warriors were seen as wild and uncouth highlanders who would rush headlong into battle wearing only the skin of wolves, bears or sheep (Paus. 4.11.3, cf. 8.1.5). Polybios, himself an Arcadian, calls his fellow countrymen “primitive” (4.21.2), while Strabon, a non-Arcadian, describes them as “wholly mountaineers” (8.1.2). Although this simplicity of the Arcadian character was to be idealised by Roman poets, the Arcadians did not possess an equal reputation for intelligence. Juvenal calls a blockhead an “Arcadian youth” (7.160), and even as late as the third century AD we witness Philostratos describing the Arcadians as “the most boorish of men” who lived in “squalor” (VA 8.7.12).

Contrasting to this, somewhat distorted, literary description of Arcadia, the presence of a grave and, then , of Death. Again Panofsky:

The phrase Et in Arcadia ego can still be understood to be voiced by Death personified, and can still be translated as "even in Arcady I, Death hold sway," without being out of harmony with what is visible in the painting itself.

Erwin Panofsky, “Et in Arcadia Ego & the Elegiac Tradition”

Death is everywhere, and mortality a condition which affected also the most naive shepards of Arcadia:

Thus Poussin himself, while making no verbal change in the inscription, invites, almost compels, the beholder to mis-translate it by relating the ego to a dead person instead of to the tomb, by connecting the et with ego instead of with Arcadia, and by supplying the missing verb in the form of avixi or fui instead of a sum. The development of his pictorial vision had outgrown the significance of the literary formula, and we may say that those who under the impact of the Louvre picture, decided to render the phrase Et in Arcadia ego as "I, too, lived in Arcady," rather than as "Even in Arcady, there am I," did violence to Latin grammar but justice to the new meaning of Poussin’s composition. Poussin’s Louvre picture no longer shows a dramatic encounter with Death but a contemplative absorption in the idea of mortality. We are confronted with a change from thinly veiled moralism to undisguised elegiac sentiment.

Erwin Panofsky, “Et in Arcadia Ego & the Elegiac Tradition”

The illustration of Aubrey Beardsley for the third volume of “Savoy” contrasts totally with the Poussin’s view of Arcadia. Here, the vision and concept itself of Arcadia, as described by Panofsky, is completely superseded. The Beardsley’s Arcadia has nothing in common with the retired and pastoral environment of the literal common place. Here Arcadia looks just like an English garden, in which strange and exotic flowers are presents, in which a dandy gentleman can walk as in an aesthetic Wunderkammer. It could be the garden of a Des Esseintes or, ante litteram, the Garda Lake’s residence of Gabriele D’Annunzio. This is definitively not the field of a sort of quite Eden on Earth, rather the decadent aesthetic and exotic beauty of a Villa’s Garden.

The dandy gentleman depicted here, is not facing the grave with the astonished and dreaming attitude of the Poussin’s shepards; here the dandy, who believes in the Total Work of Art, looks like he faces the Death represented by the grave challenging her, without necessarily being frightened nor surprised by the grave’s presence in his Garden. And he is not driven by a fool braveness, rather than the aesthetic and decadent belief on Beauty, she who will win everything, including Death.

Other visual artists who worked on the same subject include:

Giovanni Francesco Barbierini detto il Guercino (1591-1666)
Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665)
Laurent de la Hyre (1606-1656)
Peter Scheemakers (1691-1781)
Francesco Zuccarelli (1702-1788)
Richard Wilson (1714-1782)
Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)
Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806)
Léon Vaudoyer (1803-1872)
Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898)
George Wilhelm Kolbe (1877-1947)
Augustus John (1878-1961)

Adolfo De Carolis (De Karolis) (Montefiore Asia (AP), Jan. 6  1874 – Rome, Feb. 7 1928) was an Italian painter, engraver, illustrator and author of art.
In 1888, by advice of the architect Giuseppe Sacconi, he enrolled at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna
where he attended courses of fellow Domenico Ferri. In 1892, once graduated, he moved to Rome, following courses Domenico Bruschi and Alessandro Morani Art Museum Industrial and joining the group "In Arte Libertas" in 1897,
embracing aesthetic and philosophical positions, derived from the thought of John Ruskin and William Morris.

The believe in philosophical works of Ruskin pushed De Carolis to consider the artistic production as a sort of aesthetic and moral mission, in which the artisanal work of the artist follows his high spiritual attitude and role. Second consequence of this aesthetic attitude was the reconsideration of the whole artistic production and the removal of any limits or hierarchies towards artistic techniques.  His works are also influenced by the fifteenth century Umbrian and Tuscany art. The Reinassance played for De Carolis around the same role played by the revival of Gothic for Morris.


Adolfo De Carolis – Illustrations from “Il Notturno” of Gabriele D’Annunzio

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Again, accordingly to the spiritual mission of the artist, every aspect of the human life should be fulfilled by art. The philosophical credo echoed the quest of a Gesamtkunstwerk, of the Total work of Art championed by Richard Wagner and by several national declination (especially Austrian) of the Symbolist and Art Nouveau Movements.

Adolfo De Carolis – Illustrations from “Fedra” of Gabriele D’Annunzio

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This aesthetic belief is quite strong and then evident in the  production of De Carolis. While some production (such as the illustrations for Francesca da Rimini) are quite influenced by Ruskin and Pre-raphaelite taste, the artisticr relationship with the famous writer and aesthete Gabriele D’Annunzio influenced De Carolis towards a more symbolic and decadent style, such as one can see in the illustration of Fedra and Il Notturno. The new spelling of the surname "De Karolis," which uses the first  decade of the century,  attributable to the fashion of exoticism, influenced by d’Annunzio.

Adolfo De Carolis – Illustrations from “Francesca da Rimini” of Gabriele D’Annunzio

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Coherently with his credo on the Gesamtkunstwerk, De Carolis was active also as painter and decorator. One of his masterpiece as decorator is the  villa Costantini Brancadoro of San Benedetto del Tronto finished in 1904.

Anyway his fame was definitively bound to his activities as book and magazine illustrator. Apart as main and most famous  illustrator of D’Annunzio (eventually, he illustrated not only books but also the famous Mottos of D’Annunzio, as we will see in a following article), he was also a successful illustrator of two of the most influencing turn of the century Italian art magazines "Novissima" and "Hermes". For this latter he prepared an article on Decorative Modern Art (February 1904), in which he states, again, the interest accrued over the years to the unity of the arts, decorative and applied arts.

Adolfo De Carolis – Illustrations from “LA figlia di Iorio” of Gabriele D’Annunzio

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Adolfo De Carolis – Illustrations from “La Fiaccola” of Gabriele D’Annunzio

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