French Friday – Art Nouveau

Voted best facade in Paris 1901, the front door of the building caused scandal when on closer inspection the door clearly represented male
Voted best facade in Paris 1901, the front door of the building caused scandal when on closer inspection the door clearly represented male “rude bits”.

I would like to take an opportunity to celebrate Siegfried Bing, an enterprising German chappie whose shop, Maison de l’Art Nouveau gave the name to the entire art and design movement at the turn of the previous century.

He began his career importing Japanese items to Paris and published a monthly journal, Le Japon Artistique, which influenced people like Gustav Klimt and was crucial to the Japanese influence on the new artistic style.

His store was no cheap bargain mart, Henry van de Velde designed the interior of the gallery, while Louis Comfort Tiffany supplied stained glass. Bing then filled it with exquisite items ranging from fabrics designed by William Morris, glassware by Tiffany, jewellery by Edward Colonna, paintings by Édouard Vuillard, ceramics by Rookwood Pottery Co. of Cincinnati and the Grueby Faience Company of Boston and furniture by Eugène Gaillard just to name a few, while continuing to supply le Bon Ton with exotic items from Japan and the East.

All of Paris went gaga for his wares and I am sure that those living at 29 Avenue Rapp in the Lavirotte building would have made a few judicious purchases to add to their vitrines. A stones throw from the Eiffel Tower, it is well worth a quick detour as it one of the most iconic Art Noveau buildings in existence. It was also extremely controversial at the time with many finding overtly sensual elements in the design that offended the nicer-minded Parisians. You can’t go in, but the facade is something to be seen.

Although at the time the building pushed all the boundaries of design and decency, by 1905 it was all over;everything new became old and Art Deco replaced Art Nouveau. What new and exquisite items will K Mart be offering the jeunesse dorée of 2016 I wonder?

This door caused controversy when people detected a phallus in the decoration.
This door caused a great controversy when people detected what they claimed was a phallus in the decoration.

Many thanks to those who dropped by to take a look, comment on and contribute to last week’s French Friday.

You can find some great quotes by visiting last week’s post here –

If you have a photo of a favorite French building or anything about France you would like to share this week just add a link to your French post in the comment section below and share your love of France. (click on the black quote speech bubble to access comments)

Bon weekend mes amis!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries


    1. It is so close to the Eiffel Tower it is well worth a walk. If you have a few minutes more and want a most wonderful photo then the separate “Square Rapp” just a tiny walk away is a minute “Square” with a fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower. Don’t tell anyone as no-one seems to go there but you will get a photo that is truly unique. Here is a post I did on it a while ago

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Love love Art Nouveu. There is such a mixture of artistic appreciation for the flow of nature at the same time a hint of decadence. The entrance to the Metropolitan station is one of my favorites. Nothing could replace it.

    Liked by 1 person

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