Liberty or Floreal Style is the italian “Art Nouveau”. Developed between 1895 and 1914, this movement influenced architecture, figurative arts and applied arts. The name refers to Arthur Liberty, a famous tissues and art objects expositor in London. The movement appeared in Milan, Palermo, Florence and expecially in Turin during the First International Exposition of Modern Decorative Arts, in 1902.
Liberty Style was born in opposition to mass production and products standardization, that they were made with poor quality materials. The movement privilege craftsmanship; artists expressed the most of their creativity.
The most important characteristics are:
- Ornamental Style
- Inspiration by nature
- Sinuous and continuous lines
- Aesthetic sophistication
- Attention to details
- Decorative elegance
In architecture and design, the materials used were glass and wrought iron, in jewelry were semiprecious stones and opals and in painting were finished surfaces.
Image source: https://it.pinterest.com/HectorFLM/palaces-staircases/
In Italy there were many important figures of Liberty Style: Giuseppe Sommaruga, Raimondo D’Aronco, Adolfo Widt, Giuseppe Cominetti, Benvenuto Benvenuti, Ernesto Basile, Carlo Bugatti. Two of them marked the passage to the new art.
Ernesto Basile (1857-1932), a famous sicilian architect, worked mainly in Palermo, when he made the first work in Liberty Style: Villino Florio (1899-1902).
It was designed to Vincenzo Florio, the young est of the family Florio, and it is characterized by different elements, that recall his the many trips . Small towers, columns, baroque surfaces are parts of this masterpiece.
His expansive furnitures were made with precious wood, ivory, copper, nacre, camel and deer leather. Bugatti’s works mark the transition from 800’s furniture culture to design modern concept.
INFO SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlo_Bugatti