A is for Art Nouveau

I turned the vase around, admiring the fine detail, the color and artistry.  “It’s beautiful,” I told my friend. “It’s art nouveau,” she said. “I saw a similar one at Pier 1. Nice Christmas gift.”

How my neighbor parted with the gorgeous vase, I had no idea. We had just met. Perhaps it was a thank-you note for the dinner we cooked, welcoming her to the neighborhood. Some people are awesome gifters.

Art nouveau reminds me of the Bradbury building in Los Angeles, where I live, and architectural designs in Europe, where I used to live. The detail, oh, the detail.

File:Los Angeles Bradbury Building staircase.jpg

Take the interior of the Bradbury building. From the outside, it is rather common-looking — a brick building with rectangular windows. Inside, however,  it is a world enhanced by the restful space designed, as the story goes, to isolate the interior from the loud and busy exterior.

Research details that “the courtyard features ornamentation, topped with a beautiful glass roof. Art  Nouveau iron work was used  for the marble stairways, elevator, and balcony rails.”

No wonder it looks extraordinary.

Growing up in Europe, I was surrounded by architecture that made beauty part of everyday life. But as is the case with adolescents, I paid little attention. 

The vase and the conversation with my friend sent me down memory lane. Back in front of the computer. 

Since Los Angeles  is not necessarily inundated with art nouveau, I went in search of European styles. And there’s no shortage of grand-scale design there, as the nouveau originated in London.

So much splendor across the continent, but I concentrated my hunt to the buildings I ignored all those years ago in Romania. And I found them everywhere, from Bucharest to Constanta to Arad.

I may be a little biased, but I find the designs impressive in their beauty and style  — architecture from the age of splendor.

I hope you enjoy the pictures below as much as I did. I tried to pick a favorite but no  luck. Feel free to share yours (if any) with me.

File:Constanta canteen.JPG https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/Szecesszi%C3%B3s_st%C3%ADlusu_%C3%A9p%C3%BClet_Arad_f%C5%91ter%C3%A9n.jpg

File:RO B Cuţitul de Argint Church details 3.jpgFile:RO B Medical school dorm.jpg

Photos credit: Bradbury building, photo by Andreas Praefcke; buildings in Romania, photos by Acaro, Domokdr, Andrei Stroe, all from Wikimedia Commons Public Domain.


20 responses to “A is for Art Nouveau

  1. terrirochenski

    I’ve never heard of ‘Art Nouveau’, but I LOVE that vase! Great ‘A’ post. :)

    Terri @ Scribbler’s Sojourn

  2. I’m a huge fan of Art Nouveau. Looking forward to see where else your blog takes us :)

  3. The first picture is my favorite, but they all have a certain appeal!

  4. Terri, glad you enjoyed it.
    Kate, me too. With age comes more and more art appreciation. :)
    Cindy, I like that first building, too. It’s by the Black Sea, one of the most beautiful in the country.

  5. I found your details from the A to Z Challenge list. Great start, Bradbury building in particular is a great shot.

    Good luck with the rest of the alphabet. :)

  6. I’ve always been a huge fan of Art Nouveau, however not of Art Deco, which share similar time periods. I love the softness of the Nouveau, dislike the angularity of Deco.

  7. That’s what I love about European countries. The art that makes even buildings such beautiful works.

  8. Wonderful photos, yes. Art Nouveau is exquisite!

  9. Pete, thanks. The Bradbury building is amazing to see in person.
    Cathy, I’m with you 100% on the difference between Nouveau and Art Deco. One warm, one … different.
    Ghadeer, yeah, many European buildings are pieces of art.
    Leovi, thank you. Your photographs were also very beautiful.

  10. Here from A-Z…what wonderful photos!

  11. Art Nouveau, one of my favorite, though short-lived, periods! Beautiful.

  12. Rebecca, thank you!
    Bish, mine, too. Luckily, we have plenty works of art left to admire.

  13. I enjoyed the beauty of the buildings. And the vase…huhh.

  14. Yes I agree with you about Europe, I saw some of it when in the Navy and it really has some beautiful structures.

  15. Mildred, thanks, and I’m glad it was an enjoyable post.
    Poet, yes, great building, and imagine some are very old.

  16. I love those pics! Later, In May, i’ll add my pics of all the great cities and buildings I’ve visited in romania by now! WE HAVE GREAT ARCHITECTURE!

  17. Adriana, we do indeed. Too bad so much was demolished to put up the blocks buildings. As I said on the other post, I look forward to seeing your pictures.

  18. Toni McKilligan

    That is a gorgeous vase! I think you’ve just inspired a painting.

  19. This is also a new classification for me and I love the pictures- thanks for sharing!

I welcome your thoughts.

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