Gothic Revival

Gothic is an art style in the century of:

  • 9th
  • 10th
  • 11th
  • 12th

Gothic is an architectural movement that began in the late 1740s in England. Gothic revival was used in the mid 15th century and can be identified easily from the same features used in the Gothic style, that is painted structures, stained glass and decorative with pointy surfaces.

Main characteristics:

  • Painted Arches
  • Sculptor
  • Decorative Surface
  • Stained Glass


I visited the York Minster Cathedral in England this April and it  is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe and clearly charts the development of English Gothic architecture. The cathedral’s nave contains the West Window, constructed in 1338 and over the Lady Chapel in the east end is the Great East Window that was finished in 1408 which is the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world.

york-minster-aerial-view-124142341York Gothic Cathedral



Another place I visited while I was in England was the ‘Big Ben’ in Westminster Abbey Palace. It comes also into a Gothic architecture.

68639_10200361841872419_205367836_n.jpgThe Big Ben


Cast iron tracery supports a bridge in New York that is in Gothic style. The bridge is designed by Calvert Vaux and is located at the Central Park in New York City.

Rajs-100411-4073HDRpaintcurv.jpgGothic Bridge – Reservoir Bridge, New York, Central Park by Calvert Vaux


CPGothicBridge.jpgDetail of the bridge in Gothic style


History of Gothic 

Gothic Art and  Architecture, religious and secular buildings, sculptures, stained glass and illuminated manuscripts and other decorative arts produced in Europe during the latter part of the middle ages in the 5th till the 15th century. Gothic  art began to be produced in France from 1140 until about 1500, spreading to the rest of Europe during the following century.

b93bc6b01036bc54dc6f97d17e8014ee.jpgReims Cathedral, France

Reims Cathedral was the church in which numerous French monarchs were officially crowned. It was built on the site of the basilica where Clovis was baptized by Saint Remi, bishop of Reims. The cathedral was completed by the end of the 13th century, with the west front added in the 14th century.


The Gothic age ended with the advert of the Renaissance in Italy about the beginning of the 15th century, although Gothic art and architecture continued in the rest of Europe through most of the 15th century and in some regions of Northern Europe into the 16th century.

19048401_1510541605663789_994428852_oMilan Cathedral, Piazza Del Duomo

Last year I went to visit Milan in Italy and came across this big Gothic cathedral. Construction began in 1386 in a Late Gothic style more typically French than Italian. It took five centuries to complete the famous cathedral. A large and elaborate Gothic cathedral on the main square of Milan, the Duomo di Milano is one of the most famous buildings in Europe. It is one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world.

Originally the world Gothic was used by Italian Renaissance writers as a derogatory term for all art and architecture of the middle ages in which they regarded as comparable to the work of barbarian Goths.

Since then the term Gothic has been restricted to the last major medieval period. The Gothic age is now considered one of Europe’s outstanding artistic eras.



Gothic Revival Style  1830-1860

Touropia – 2016 – 10 Cathedrals of Medieval Europe –





It is characterized by fantasy imagery and incongruous, juxtapositions such as we may recognize from dream but not from real life. Surrealism originated in the late 1910s and early 1920s as a literary movement that experimented with a new mode of expression called automatic writing, or automatism, which sought to release the unbridled imagination of the subconscious.

A Movement in visual art and literature that was active in the 1920s till 1930s who flourished in Europe between World War I and II.

Surrealist poets were at first reluctant to align themselves with visual artists because they believed that the laborious processes of painting, drawing, and sculpting were at odds with the spontaneity of uninhibited expression.

Max Ernst (1891-1976)

A German painter, sculptor, graphic artist who was one of the leading advocates of irrationality in art and an originator of the Automatism movement of Surrealism but also was a primary  pioneer of the Dada movement as well.

His youthful interest were psychiatry and philosophy, but he abandoned his studies at the University of Bonn for painting.


e9722045e7398b5dca4b4119bfe7e0aa.jpgYoung Max Ernst Portrait


Man Ray (1890-1976)

He was a photographer, painter and a film maker who was the only American to play a major role in both the Dada and Surrealist movements.


Rene Magritte (1898-1967)

The Belgium artist was one of the most prominent Surrealist painters whose bizarre flights of fancy blended horror, peril, comedy and mystery. His works were characterized by particular symbols by the female torso, the bourgeois, the bowler hat, the castle, the rock, the windows and many others.

One of his most notable work was ‘The Son of Man’ painting. It consisted of a man in a formal coat and a bowler hat standing in front of a wall that beyond there was the sea and a cloudy weather. The painting was a self-portrait of himself, Rene Magritte. The man’s face is largely obscured by a green apple. However, the man’s eyes can be seen peeking over the edge of the apple. Another noticeable thing is that the man’s left arm appears to bend backwards at the elbow.

sonofman.jpgThe Son of Man Painting


Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Spanish surrealist painter and print maker who influenced for his explorations of subconscious imagery. He was a skilled draftsman who was best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His skills are attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters.

His most important work is ‘The Persistence of Memory’ on oil on canvas, which was completed in 1931. Dalí’s expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.

the-persistence-of-memory-1931.jpgThe Persistence of Memory

Although it was conjectured that the soft melting watches were the result of Dali’s interpretation of the theory of relativity, Dali himself state that their inspiration was cheese melting under the sun.



James Voorhies – Department of European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art – October 2004


Neo-futurism is a 21st century movement in design and architecture that was a settled way of post-modernism and represents an idealistic future.


Eero Saarinen (1910-1961)

A Finnish American industrial designer and architect that was known for varying his style according to the demands of the project that were:

  • Simple
  • Sweeping,
  • Arching structural curves or
  • Machine-like rationalism

Born in 1910, Saarinen immigrated to the United States in 1923 and settled in Bloomfield Hills and there he attended Cranbrook Academy of Art where his father taught and took classes in sculpture and furniture design.

INSP_Saarinen_archEero Saarinen and The Gateway Arch experimental model

The Gateway Arch

One of his important and successful design was the gateway arch that is known as the ‘Gateway to the West’. It was designed by himself and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel in 1947 and built between 1963 and 1965. It stands 630 feet tall and 630 feet wide at its base. The legs are 54 feet wide at the base, narrowing to 17 feet at the arch. There is a unique tram system to carry passengers to the observation room at the top of the arch.

031c853940c49a9d255d3ad035cd548aThe Gateway Arch


TWA Flight Center, New York (1962)

Saarinen designed some of the most beautiful, distinctive and graceful buildings and structures in the United States. On the East Coast you will find the former TWA airlines terminal at JFK airport. Saarinen’s original design featured a prominent wing-shaped thin shell roof, unusual tube-shaped departure-arrival corridors and tall windows enabling expansive views of departing and arriving jets. He designed also the Manhattan’s CBS building as known as the Black Rock and another airport in Washington that is the Dulles Airport.

TWA_LCA_ArtistConcept_Predesign_c.jpgAirport (TWA Terminal, New York)


TransTWA-Flight-Center-1024x523The Main Lobby


Saarinen’s Furniture

Organic chair – inspired from nature

organic_01Organic Chair by Eero Saarinen

The organic chair is a comfrotable small reading chair and was made in 1940 by Charles Eames. The seat shell and armrests blend smoothly into one another and give the armchair a particularly harmonious look.


  • Laminated seat shell
  • Polyurethane upholstery foam
  • Frame in ash legs
  • Stained black
  • Polyamide cover


Tulip Chair and Tulip Table

Eero Saarinen designed the collection of both tulip chair and table. It is a defining accomplishment of modern design. It was designed in 1956 with a perfectly capture that brought together in the décor world. For Saarinen, fluid design and flowing curves followed basic ergonomics. His design philosophy behind the Tulip lineup was simple, clear and well founded.

Tulip Arm ChairTulip chairs and table


Womb Chair

The womb chair envelops the person and creates a safe and comfortable place to curl up and relax. It is made of:

  • Moulded fibre
  • Glass seat shell
  • Supported on a bent tubular frame
  • Nylon swivel glides

It is upholstered in a boucle fabric and has loose latex foam cushions for increased comfort. Like many of Saarinen’s furniture designs, the Womb Chair required production techniques and materials still in the infancy of their existence. Chair



Neo-futurism –

Knoll – Eero Saarinen – Tulip Arm Chair –



In 1909, a group of Italian poets founded an art movement which was concerned with:

  • Technology
  • Dynamic aspects of modern life
  • Rejected classical concept of harmony and order
  • Expressed speed and movements in their paintings



  • Simultaneity
  • Line of face
  • Repeated motifs
  • Inclusion of typographical elements
  • Strong chromaticism
  • Lyricism
  • Suggesting speed
  • Urgency
  • Long dynamic lines
  • Motion


Umberto Boccioni

An Italian painter, sculptor and theorist of the Futurist Movement in art. Boccioni was probably influenced  by Cubism in 1911-1912 and about this time he also became interested in sculpture.

Giacomo Balla

Another Italian artist and founding member of the Futurist movement in painting. An Italian pointillist painter who later became a prominent Futurist.

Gino Severini

Italian painter who synthesized the styles of Futurism and Cubism.

Severini began his painting career in 1900 as a student of Giacomo Balla. Stimulated by Balla’s account of the new painting in France, Severini moved to Paris in 1906 and met leading members of the French avant-garde, such as the Cubist painters George Braque and Pablo Picasso.

Severini shared this artistic interest, but his work did not contain the political overtones typical of Futurism. This is since Futurists typically painted moving cars or machines. He usually portrayed the human figure as the source of energetic motion in his paintings. He was especially fond of painting nightclub scenes in which he evoked the sensations of movement and sound by filling the picture with rhythmic forms and cheerful, flickering colours.

self-portraitSelf-portrait of Gino Severini


Filippo Tommaso Marinetti is the founder of the Futurist Movement. The futurists  wanted to revitalise Italian by depicting the speed and dynamism of modern life.

-9tXOv0jmBAwPe4uDNl8Ng%2FRussolo,_Carrà,_Marinetti,_Boccioni_and_Severini_in_front_of_Le_Figaro,_Paris,_9_February_1912-1.jpgFrom left to right  Luigi Russolo, Carlo Carra, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini


Futurism in Architecture

Antonio Sant’Elia

Antonio Sant’Elia was an Italian architect who was a key member of the Futurist movement in architecture. He left behind very few completed works of architecture and is mostly remembered for bold sketches and influence on modern architecture.

The drawings Antonio Sant’Elia included in his August 1914 Futurist Manifesto of Architecture are, perhaps, the most famous and influential of the early 20th century.

95b66d846ff290acf1c2b657dd8ebd96.pngThe Power Station (1914) Milan, Italy.

They were the first European architecture to project a vertical city, one composed not only of towers, but also of stacked layers of streets, plazas, and the mechanical movement of cars, trams, and trains.

original.jpgAntonio Sant’Elia, La Città Nuova (The New City) 1913-1914


Giacomo Matté-Trucco

Giacomo was an Italian naval architect and engineer and his fame rests on a single major work, the Fiat car factory at Lingotto, Turin. He is most know about his contribution on the huge reinforced concrete structure that was a forerunner of the concrete aesthetic of Pier Luigi Nervi and Riccardo Morandi. The enormously long, five-storey building has two daring helicoidal ramps leading to a banked test track for cars on the roof. The factory’s audacious design made a tremendous impression on foreign as well as Italian observers.

p025gc1bLingotto factory from inside in Turin, Italy (1923)



The Art Story – Futurism –

The Charnel-House – May 01 –

Socks – Drawings and Visions by (Other) Italian Futurist Architects – December 8, 2013 –

Art Deco


  • Japanese Culture
  • Tribes (African, Australian, South American)
  • Egyptian Culture
  • Greek Culture
  • Black Music

Art Deco is a modern and popular style movement in the decorative arts and architecture that originated in the 1920s and developed into a major style in Western Europe and the United States during the 1930s. Its name was derived from the Exposition International ‘Des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes’, held in Paris in 1925, where the style was first exhibited. Art Deco design represented modernism turned into fashion. Its product included both indicidually crafted luxury items and mass-poduced wares.

The distinguishing features of the style are simple, clean shapes that are often with a streamlined look on ornament that is geometric or stylized from representational forms. Though Art Deco objects were rarely mass-produced, the characteristic features of the style reflected admiration for the modernity of the machine and for inherent design qualities of machines-made objects.

Art+Deco+Graphic+Design+TypographyBifur – Typeface

Among the formative influences on Art Deco were Art Nouveau, the Bauhaus, Cubism and Sergey Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Decorative ideas came from American Indian, Egyptian, and early classical sources as well as from nature, characteristic motifs included nude female figures, animal, foliage and sunrays all in conventionalized forms.


Adolphe Mouron Cassandre (1901-1968)

A grahpic artist, stage designer and painter whose poster designs greatly influenced advertising art in the half of the 20th century. After studying art at the Academie Julian in Paris, Cassandre gained a reputation with such posters.

Cassandre.jpgAdolphe Mouron Cassandre

The Dubonnet posters were among the earliest designed specifically to be seen fast-moving vehicles, and they introduced the idea of the serial poster, a group of posters to be seen in a rapid succession to convey a complete idea.

349CASSANDRE5The Dobonnet Posters

In 1926 Cassandre co-founded the advertising agency Alliance Graphique and soon turned his attention to experimental typography. In 1929 he designed a new typerface and later on he designed two other tperfaces. In 1939 he abandoned poster art and henceforth devoted himself to designing stage sets and to painting.


tumblr_n64q9iZnzB1rpgpe2o1_r1_1280.jpgNord Express Poster


Buildings in Art Deco Style:

New York City Skyscrapers

img1.jpg Hearst Tower (2003-2006)

148de87efc6bd8159cbf9ee0e4ecb6483e6d9a32.jpgChrysler Building (Precursor to Art Deco)



The Art Story – Art Deco –

Type in History: Cassandre’s Art Deco Type – Margaret Penney – Aug 12, 2016 –



Constructivism was the last and most influential modern art movement to flourish in Russia in the 20th century.

Construct – to built something

Constructivision was inspired by suprematism. It is an art movement that focus on basic geometric forms, such as circles, squares, lines, and rectangles, painted in a limited range of colors.

Suprematism  is a theory that its about the understanding of shapes. This was invented by Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935).


A Russian painter, who was the founder of the Suprematist school of abstract painting. He was trained at the Kiev School of Art and the Moscow Academy of Fine Arts. In his early work he followed Impressionism as well as Fauvism and after a trip to Paris in 1912, he was influenced by Picasso and cubism.

In 1913 Malevich created abstract geometrical patterns in a manner he called Suprematism.


Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956)

A Russian artist who founded contructivism. Rodchenko worked in many mediums including painting, graphic design and photography. By working in a wide range of media, he was one of the central figures of constructivism, a Russian abstract art movement that emerged in the period just before the Russian revolution of 1917.


Structure (made out of basic shapes)

Photography – black and white, diagonals, contract, repetition, expressive

Posters – shapes, bold lines, solid colour, diagonals/symmetry, black and white photographs


alexander-rodchenko-shukhov-tower-web.jpgAlexander Rodchenko photography (Shuchov transmission tower), 1929


The Bauhaus (1919-1933)


The Bauhaus was founded in 1919 in the city of Weimar by German architect Walter Gropius. It was the most influential modernist art school of the 20th century, one whose approach to teaching, and understanding art’s relationship to society and technology, had a major impact both in Europe and the United States long after it closed.


2 Schools – Art School + Government School

1 Director – W. Gropius (Teachers)


Stone/Sculpture, Pottery, Weaving, Silver Smelting, Furniture, Printing, Stained Glass, Theatre, Colour Theory and other materials.


Dessau (1924-1931)

New building

New Mentality

Art + Crafts School – old masters left, new masters – ex students


Berlin (1931-1933)

Gropius was exiled

New director



Close down


Walter Gropius (1883-1969)

Walter Gropius

A famous German school of design that has inestimable influence on modern architecture, the industrial and graphic arts and theater design. It was founded in 1919 by the architect Walter Gropius. He was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School, who, along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright.

The bauhaus was based on the principles of the 19th century English designer William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement that art should meet the needs of society and that no distinction should be made between fine arts and practical crafts. Classes were offered in:

  • Crafts
  • Typography
  • Commercial
  • Industrial design
  • Sculpture
  • Painting
  • Architecture

The Bauhaus style, later also knows as the International Style, was marked by the absence of ornament and ostentatious facades and by harmony between function and the artistic ad technical means employed.

In 1925 the school was moved into a group of starkly rectangular glass and concrete buildings in Dessau especially for it by Gropius. In Dessau the Bauhaus style became more strictly functional with greater emphasis on showing the beauty and suitability of basic, unadorned materials.


In 1930 the Bauhaus came under the direction of the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who moved it to Berlin in 1932, By 1933, when the school was closed by the Nazis, its principles and work were known worldwide. Many of tis faculty immigrated to the United States where the Bauhaus teachings came to dominate art and architecture for decades.




The Art Story – Constructivism –

The Bauhaus – Alexandra Griffith Winton – August 2007 –

Reframing Photography – Alexander Rodchenko –


De Stijl

The word De Stijl is in Dutch, and means ‘the style’ that the Dutch arts started during the movement in Amsterdam in 1917 and periodically by the same name. De Stijl was dedicated to abstration that would create a universal response from all the viewers based on a quest for harmony and order. Among the founders of the movement were the painters Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg, who also established its journal, De Stijl (1917 – 1932).

28279-004-197035F3Piet Mondrian

Theo_van_Doesburg_in_AubetteTheo van Doesburg

As a movement, De Stijl influenced paintings and decorative arts, including furniture design, typography and architecture, but it was principally architecture that realised both De Stijl’s stylistic aims and its goals of close collaboration among the arts. Beyond The Netherlands, the De Stijl aesthetic found expression at the Bauhaus in Germany during the 1920s and in the International Style.


Piet Mondrian (1872-1944)

Piet Cornelis Mondrian born March 7, 1872 in Amersfoort, The Netherlands and died February 1, 1944, New York U.S. was a painter who was an important leader in the development of modern abstract art and a major exponent of the Dutch abstract-art movement known as ‘De Stijl’. In his mature paintings, Modrian used the simplest combination of straight lines, right angles, primary colours, and black, white and grey. The resulting works posses an extreme formal purity that embodies the artist’s spiritual belief in a harmonious cosmos.


Theo van Doesburg (1883-1931)

Theo van Doesburg was a Dutch painter, decorator, poet and art theorist who was a leader of the ‘De Stijl’ movement. Born in August 30, 1883, Utrecht, Netherlands and died in March 7, 1931, Davos, Switzerland.

Originally van Doesburg intended to pursue a career in the theatre, but he turned to paintings in the 1900s. He worked in post-Impressionist and Fauvist styles until 1915, when he discovered Piet Mondrian’s work, which convinced him to paint geometric abstrations of subjects from nature.

Van Doesburg turned his attention away from painting around the 1920s, focusing instead on the promotion of De Stijl in Germany and France. He lectured at the Weimar Bauhaus from 1921 to 1923.

He returned to painting around 1924, at which time he decided to introduce the diagonal into his composition to increase the dynamic effect.



Design is History – De Stijl –

Industrial Design

Mass production – manufacture a number of production in a limited time

Standardization – simple design and similar

Functionalism –  designed objects should have a function


Henry Ford (1863-1947)

He pioneered the introduction of the moving assembly line after observing how meat moved down the line from the butcher to butcher in a meat packing plant. That what inspired Ford and starting thinking about the moving engine that in the future will became a car.

HenryFord_ModeloT1921.JPGModel T

Henry Ford was an American industrialist who is best know for his pioneering achievements in the automobile indusrty.

Ford was born on a farm near Dearborn, Michigan and educated in district schools. He became a machinist’s apprentice in Detroit at the age of sixteen. From 1888 to 1899 he was a mechanical engineer, and later chief engineer with the Edison Illuminating Company. In 1896, after experimenting for years in his leisure hours, he completed the construction of his first automobile, the Quadricycle.

ford_quadricycle1The Quadricycle

In 1903 he founded the Ford Motor Company. After its launch, the company began using letters of the alphabet to name its new models. In 1908, the company launched the Model T, which would go on to sell about fifteen million cars over the next nineteen years, a motoring phenomenon made possible by the disciplines of mass production and affordable price. Within the ensuing few year, however, Ford’s preeminence as the largest producer and seller of automobiles in the nation was gradually lost to his competitors, largely because he was slow to adopt the practice of introducing a new model of automobiles each year, which had become standard in the industry, During the 1930s Ford adopted the policy of the yearly changeover, but his company was unable to regain the position it had formerly held.

Related imageFord Motor Company Factory


Chicago School (1800s)

8365fa00c7c12bd5b32faa3f3fb2caa5.jpgLouis Sullivan’s Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. Building

A group of architects and engineers who in the late 19th century had developed the school skyscraper in Chicago. This informal school was called the birthplace of modern architecture.

Although the phrase Chicago School properly identifies the midwest city as the locus of the new developments in high-rise design. Root, Burnham, Adler and Sullivan actually formed the Western Association of Architects in opposition to East Coast architects. It had no unified or coherent set of principles, and the landmark buildings created by the members of the school used a wide variety of designs, construction techniques and materials.

They included:

  • Daniel Burnham
  • William Le Barson Jenney
  • John Root

Which was the form of:

  • Dankmar Adler
  • Louis Sullivan


References: Staff – 2009 – Industrial Revolution –

Hnery Ford – Britannica – Carol W. Gelderman –

Visual Arts Cork – Chicago School of Architecture –



Art Nouveau

International Style (1890-1914)

Main Inspirations;

  • Japanese Prints
  • Celtic
  • Female Figure
  • Classic Art
  • Egypt, Greek, Roman


Art Nouveau in (France)

Hector Guimard (1867-1942) was a French art nouveau architect who was influenced by the Belgian arhictect Victor Horta.

He is best known for his subwat entrance for the Paris Metro, fanciful kiosks imaginatively detailed i wrought iron, bronze and glass.  His influence that like of all art nouveau architects was nullified by the emergent functional styles of the 20th century,

guimard-hector_metro-dauphine_ratp-GNU.jpgThe entrance of the Metro Station in Paris

He designed his first and finest buildings, the Castel Beranger in Paris (1898), an apartment house in which he was responsible for every detail of both the interior and exterior. He used varied materials including metal, faience and glass brick. Guimard created a design outstanding for the sinuous curves of its decoration that most notably evident in the floral and vegetative motifs of the wrought-iron gates.

porte-castel-berangerCastel Beranger’s Gate


Art Nouveau in (Brussels)

Henry Van de Velde was a major player in the foundation and promotion of the Art Nouveau movement in Belgium. He was a painter, architecture and interior designer. He came across the work of Vincent Van Gogh at the yearly exhibition and his work shows an influence of the Dutch painter himself. However, in 1892 he abandoned painting in favor of furniture and interior design. Henry also made significant development in the field of architecture designing several buildings for the Bauhaus campus in Weimar, Germany.

Van de Velde’s furniture tends to be substantial with restrained, sculptural forms. In the matter of the Paris school, pieces rely on form for interest, rather than the applied decoration and inlay commonly.

015-van-de-velde-theredlist.pngDrawing-room table by Henry Van de Velde

Winter Garden in Art Nouveau built in 1900s between Antwerp and Brussels.



Victor Horta (1861-1947)

Victor Horta was an architect and one of the foremost creators of the art nouveau style. His design for the Hotel Tassel in 1893 is generally seen as the start of the Art Nouveau. He introduced many new concepts in architecture, which are still used today.

The Horta Museum was his private house, who gave free rein to its style. It is not actual museum in the traditional sense but a building where the objects exposed draw all the attention. The building itself is the museum. The Horta Museum was actually the house that Victor built for himself in the late 1890s. It’s a true example of the architectural style that made Horta into one of the most acclaimed architects in Belgium.

3_VictorHorta.jpgHotel Tassel entrance

tumblr_n4urxcGHqS1sqqqimo1_1280.jpgThe museum from inside


  • Curvilinear
  • Whiplash
  • Spirals
  • Forms by nature
  • Flooring from mosaic
  • Wallpaper

victorhortastaircase.jpgThe famous staircase in Hotel Tassel

A showcase of stained glass and subway tile, pale wood and wrought iron in every corner that seems magically bathed in golden sunlight.



Josef Hoffmann (1870-1955)

He was born in Moravia that is now part of the Czech Republic. Josef was an Austrian architect and designer of consumer goods. He and Moser opened the Vienna Workshops.

Hoffmann designed a form plain table in four sections made from solid wood. It was designed at the turn of the last century (1900s)


josef_hoffmann_art_176Nesting Tables


He also is known on the classic strict geometrical lines and the quadratic theme, that is the kubus armchair that was designed in 1910.


hoffmann-josef-chairKubus Armchair


Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926)

He was a Catalan architect, whose distinctive style is characterized by freedom of form, voluptuous colour and texture, and organic unity. Gaudi worked almost entirely in or near Barcelona. Much of his career was occupied with the construction of the expiatory temple of the holy family (Sagra Familia), which was unfinished at  his death in 1926 and still now a days isn’t.

55ca39f807d90.jpgSagrada Familia – Barcelona, Spain

In his drawings and models for the uncompleted church, one transept with one of its death, Gaudi equilibrated the cathedral in Gothic style beyond recognition into a complexly symbolic forest of helicoidal piers, hyperboloid vaults and sidewalls.


  • Islam Architecture
  • Fantasy (Dragon Skins)



The Art Story – Art Nouveau –

The Red List – Van del Velde –

1stdibs – Josef Hoffmann – Nesting Tables and Stacking Tables –

Sagrada Familia – Antoni Gaudi –

Beginning Of Design

Industrial Revolution (1800s)

It began in Britain and spread throughout the world. The revolution brings a grand change to Europe as the people start moving towards the cities and large factories are built. This is a time where Europe is in need to import natural resources  at a cheap price to have mass production  of their exports to sell off to other countries at a high price.

The industrial revolution was the major shift of technology, economic and cultural conditions in the late 18th and early 19th century.

unnamedThe Industrial Revolution sets off in 1769

Crystal Palace (19th Century)

The structure was built to host the ‘Great Exhibition’ in 1861. It was made out of glass and iron, and it measured 124 km by 563 meters. Also this structure was able to be moved.

Ten thousand countries participated in the great exhibition. This countries exhibited machinery, fine arts and primary sources such as metal.

After the exhibition was closed, the prefabricated buildings was dismantled and then reconstructed at  Sydenham in South London. The Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire in 1936.

kCrystal Palace from outside and insidePaxtonCrystalPalace


Morris & Co – William Morris (1834-1896)

William Morris founded Morris & Co and they manufactured:

  • Furniture
  • Stained Glass
  • Tapestries
  • Wallpaper
  • Tiles

He was an English artist, poet, socialist reformer, architect, furniture and textile designer who found a return to medieval tradition of design, community and craftsmanship.

Morris dedicated most of his time to architecture and paintings. The firm designed and manufactured decorations  such as carvings, metalwork, stained glass and carpeting. These products were noted for their fine workmanship and natural beauty and directly inspired the Arts and Crafts movement, which sought to reinvest everyday objects with these qualities.


The work of Morris is characterized by an emphasis on decorative elements, especially on those that he thought to be characteristic of the art of the Middle Ages, His designs for books and wallpapers recall the precision and elegance of illuminated manuscripts, and his poems and epic treat medieval themes with a rich imagery  and a simplicity of diction derived from the ancient epics and sages. In his political writings, he attempted to correct the dehumanizing effects of the Industrial Revolution by proposing a form of society in which people could enjoy craftsmanship and simplicity of expression.

5. Strawberry Thief WallpaperStrawberry Thief Wallpaper – Morris

William Morris was the practical romantic who evenhandedly reinvented the Gothic dream of elegantly decorated everything, His wallpapers are dazzlingly complicated, formal and tiled seamlessly.

DM6W230289_zoom.jpgWilliam Morris – Willow Bough

Notice also how subtly Morris handles the difficult task of allowing branches  to decrease in thickness towards the leaves, while making the branches infinite and continuously.

Snakeshead Fabric DetailSofa in a ‘Snakeshead’ pattern

It is a dazzlingly perfect Victorian pattern created in 1876 by Morris for home furnishing. It was manufactured by Thomas Wardle, Leek, in block-printed cotton.


References: Staff – 2009 – Industrial Revolution

V & A – The Crystal Palace –

William Morris – Wallpaper –