Early-Modern or Modernism includes Art Nouveau or Jugenstil, Vienna Secession Style, Italian Liberty Style, Catalan Modernisme, Expressionism and Abstractism or Abstract Expressionism, between 1890 and 1930.

Staircase of the Hotel Tassel by Victor Horta.

Image source: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/YRRnb

Early-Modern/Modernism Architecture-Characteristics

  • Images of flowers, plants, birds or insects as decoration;
  • Patterns of Curving Lines;
  • Use of symbols.
  • Ornamental Style;
  • Inspiration by nature;
  • Movement;
  • Aesthetic sophistication;
  • Attention to details;
  • Decorative elegance;
  • Conception of architecture as a work of art;
  • Uses creative potential of artisancraftsmanship.

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.

Early-Modern/Modernism Architecture-Eaxmples

Hotel Tassel was designed by Victor Horta (1861-1947), 1892-3 in Brussels. He opened the center in a sort of conservation space in which the exposed cast-iron supports are in turn stylized plants.

Hotel Tassel, Brussels.

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%B4tel_Tassel

The Secession Exhibition Building, Vienna, Austria, was created by Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867-1908). It was built as an exhibition space, so the interior is very flexible. The plan and the forms embrace pure geometry. The ornament is complex; flat stylized organic forms. The inscription above the entrance reads “Der Zeit ihre Kunst / Der Kunst ihre Freiheit”, which means “at any age”, underlining the desire to form a representative artistic language.

Secession Exhibition Building, Vienna.

Info and image source: https://voices.uchicago.edu/201504arth15709-01a2/2015/11/16/vienna-secession/

Castiglioni Palace, Milan.

Image source: https://it.pinterest.com/HectorFLM/palaces-staircases/

Among the most famous buildings in the world, the Sagrada Familia was conceived from the beginning as a monumental project, defined mainly by the height of its spiers and by the extravagance of its design. Designed by Gaudi (1852-1926), the Sagrada Familia has long since become an icon of the spirit of one of the coolest cities in the world. Gaudì was influenced by nature, he was inspired by his elements.

View of the Passion Façade (Western side).

Image source: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagrada_Fam%C3%ADlia

The Großes Schauspielhaus, the great theater of Berlin, was designed by Hans Poelzing (1869-1936), German architect, painter and set designer. He sought, in his works, a solution to the problems of modularity, spatial possibilities related to new materials, to the relationship-utility beauty of industrial buildings.

Inside the Great Theatre, Berlin (1922) Poelzing.

Image source: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gro%C3%9Fes_Schauspielhaus

Early-Modern/Modernism Furniture-Eaxmples

These curvy lines connect the images in the art and can even be found in beautified plain items, such as dishes, eating utensils, hardware and furniture.

Cabinet by Louis Majorelle,1900.

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Nouveau_furniture

In interior design, Carlo Bugatti(1855-1940) was the most important exponent. He was born in Milan and was a creative man. 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

Armchair. Carlo Bugatti.
Writing desk and chair in black painted wood, metal inlaid and bone, lined with parchment.

Images source: http://www.italianways.com/i-mobili-del-regno-incantato-di-carlo-bugatti/

The search for beauty, utility and comfort and a certain element of exhibitionistic luxury are essentials of Modernism, as found in the interiors of bourgeois housing. Together with architects, carpenter-decorators became a fashionable profession, receiving commissions from the bourgeois and concerning themselves with the furniture design and decoration of the houses; a reflection of the tastes of the time and the new way of living.

Two-section display cabinet with mirror (1907-1908), Gaspar Homar.

Info and image source: http://www.museunacional.cat/en/interiors-modernisme-gaspar-homar-and-joan-busquets-0

Early-Modern/Modernism Artists

Gustave Klimt  (1862-1918)  is best known for his decorative art, or at least his decorative style of painting, which – in the manner of Byzantine Art – used gold and semi-precious gems for ornamentation, and is characterized by a flat linear style, often decorated with biomorphic forms, as exemplified by his masterpiece The Kiss.

The Kiss (1908).

Info and image sources: http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/famous-artists/gustav-klimt.htm#painting

Santiago Rusiñol (1861-1931)  was a Spanish painter, poet, and playwright. He was one of the leaders of the Catalan modernisme movement. He influenced Pablo Picasso as a modern artist, and also left a number of modernist buildings in Sitges, a town in Catalonia. He was most known for his plays, and landscape and garden paintings.

Info and image source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santiago_Rusi%C3%B1ol

Matisse (1869-1954), French painter and sculptor, he was one of representatives of Fauvism, author of paintings ‘The Dance’, ‘Woman with hat’, ‘The Red Room’.

The dance by Matisse (1910), Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Info source: https://www.wikiart.org/en/henri-matisse/dance-ii-1910

E.Munch (1863-1944) Norwegian painter and printmaker. He’s known as the author ‘The scream’.

The scream by E.Munch (1893), National Gallery of Oslo.

Image source: http://theartist.me/collection/oil-painting/der-schrei-der-natur-the-scream-of-nature/

Kandinskij (1866-1944)Russian painter, founded “Der Blaue Raiter” (The Blue Rider), author of ‘Picture with Archer'(1909), ‘First abstract watercolor'(1910), ‘Accent in pink’(1926) and more others.

Accent in pink by Kandijsky (1926) Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris.

Image source: http://cultura.biografieonline.it/kandinsky-accento-in-rosa/

Wassily Kandinsky, Picture with a Circle (Bild mit Kreis), 1911 Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi.

Image source: https://www.finestresullarte.info/501n_arte-come-musica-vasilij-kandinskij-arnold-schoenberg.php