April 21, 2011

A is for Austrian Art Nouveau Architecture

You don't need to be an architecture buff to appreciate the work of the artistically avant-garde movement that appeared in Europe at the turn of the 20th century. The Art Nouveau movement followers subscribed to the principle that the essence of aesthetics should be sought in nature rather than ancient Classicist renditions.

In Austria, the movement of painters, sculptors and architects was established in 1897 and was first lead by the now famous artist Gustav Klimt. They were called the Vienna Secession.

Among the eminent architects of this movement was Otto Wagner. These are a few of the key buildings in Vienna he designed. As usual, photos can be enlarged.

The Austrian Postal Savings Bank, c.1906. The plain marble and granite exterior is embellished with aluminum ornamentation.  Wagner designed the inside, too.

 Vienna, 2011

The Karlsplatz Stadbahn Station (city train station), c.1899, steel framework and marble with stylized Hydrangea.


Wagner Haus, a white plastered façade with golden stucco elements (didn't find the year it was built, but probably 1898-99).


And right next to it, the Majolica House, c.1899, named after the flowered tile which covers the façade.



Both these buildings were considered "hideous beyond measure" at the time they were built. What do you think?

The Secession building - designed by architect Joseph Maria Olbrich, co-founder of the Vienna Secession - is considered by some the icon of the movement. Above its entrance was carved the phrase "to every age its art and to art its freedom".  The portal was designed by Klimt and the owls detail on the side of the building by artist Koloman Moser.




A is the letter of the week at Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday. And Art Nouveau is what I searched for on my walk through Vienna today. My walk was long, and so is my post. Does Art Nouveau appeal to you?

24 comments:

Terra said...

call me nuts but I think the flowered facade ones are kind of cool...would I want that on my house - um no...but would I walking by - absolutely!

Judie said...

I find your post to be quite fascinating! I have been drawn to architecture since I was a child. Thank you for a most informative post!!!

criticalcrass said...

love architecture. thanks for posting these!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love all the painted details on the buildings!

Donnie said...

What gorgeous buildings and you did fabulous on the photos.

Amiko said...

beautiful...!

jabblog said...

I find some of this architecture quite forbidding - but I do like the majolica and the Secession building.

Evelyn said...

Very nice. What a wonderful trip you are having. A long one! (or are you back in Manila?)

biebkriebels said...

Oh, I love art nouveau. I have been there long time ago and seen it all. My mother-in-law was from Vienna and she took us around the city. She searched specially to the Sessesion where she had visited exhibitions when she was young.

ladyfi said...

Such gorgeous shots of this lovely architecture. I do like art nouveau!

H said...

If every building was art nouveau, it would be a little opressive. Because there are only some key buildings, they are attractive and interesting; like the icing on the cake.

Sue said...

Another interesting post, and I loved the photos, too.

=)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Well -- yeah, I wouldn't want to live there (in the buildings* but they're very nice to look at and interesting historically.

I'm glad you have your camera with you wherever you go!


* (Of course my houses are both trailers, so what do I know from architecture ;>)

jennyfreckles said...

I prefer smaller art nouveau pieces than the buildings, but the style is attractive.

Varda said...

I adore Art Nouveau (shame on you, spell-check for not knowing that's a word). Have since I was little as my mother loves it, too and taught me to look for it. There is a lovely Art Nouveau area of Bremen, Germany... have you ever been? thanks for sharing this with us.

Wishing I could travel again, I miss it. Probably one of the hardest aspects of having an autistic child, the limits.

☆☆Mumsy said...

Those are gorgeous buildings, and your post is very educational. It's very fascinating to see and know.

Jacob and Lois Anne said...

The "essence of aesthetics should be sought ... in nature..."

So vat does that mean? I'm not being snotty, but I really don't know. And my ignorance is draped about me but I like all kinds of architecture. What makes this art nouveau so different? I see representations of nature imprinted on the facades but is there some other determinant of "nature" in the actual structure of these buildings?

I thank you for taking us on this journey of yours - the buildings are quite magnificent. And, as usual, the essence of "beauty" is in the eye of the beholder!

Kaori said...

They are different but I like the buildings! The last building is beautiful! Love the details of the building :-D

JM said...

Gorgeous building details and shots! The last composition is my favourite. And yes, I love Art Nouveau.

Cheryl D. said...

I liked the flower facade too! I thought that was really beautiful!

Mari's World said...

I love architecture and I love how different countires throw up their own interpretaions.
I ahve been to Austria a few times and I adore the painted houses, the window boxes full of geraniums and the fresh mountain air that surrounds it all.
Lovely post

Vicki aka Jake said...

I love old buildings with history...thanks for letting me see something I otherwise wo
uldn't have:)

Jingle said...

awesome shots.

Jenny said...

I am fascinated by the stylized hydrangeas and the Majolica House!

Wow, what interesting architectural gems you have shared with us.

I am always excited to learn so much as I journey through this meme.

Really, really amazing post.

A+