Die Jugend 1896Art Nouveau is an art movement that was very popular in the 1890’s up until the first years of the 20th Century. The term means ‘New Art’ in French and in other languages it is known as “Jugendstil” (Germany), “Sezessionstil” (Austria), “Modernismo” (Spain), and “Floreale” or “Liberty” in Italy. Art Nouveau has been applied to all of the decorative arts, architecture, painting and sculpture.

Art Nouveau was charged with an ideology to break the standards of the 19th Century Academic Art and to bring down the barriers between the fine arts and applied arts. It was a movement to combine all the arts in an attempt to create new art based on natural forms that could be mass-produced by the technologies of the industrial age. Additionally, the artist should be able to work on various different approaches from painting to metalwork and everything in between. 

A central element in Art Nouveau is the organic, plant-inspired motif which is often expressed with floral patterns and themes. Such themes are highly stylized with flowing curved forms. Other primary themes are birds, insects and femme fatales. The use of abstract lines and shapes as well as the lack of vivid shading is applied in order to eliminate the sense of depth thus most Art Nouveau paintings are presented in a two-dimensional manner.

Many Art Nouveau artifacts such asArt Nouveau Champenois vases, bowls, plates, lights, various furniture etc are beautiful objects but not necessarily very practical to use. During the first years of the movement, advertising posters were introduced into art providing a new space for the exhibition of this new art. Additionally, architects like Antoni Gaudí (although he has his own distinct style) have stretched the limits of design into astonishing and magnificent forms.

Art Nouveau remains an extraordinary form of art until today.Countless artifacts from the period 1890-1914 are constantly reproduced and many contemporary artists identify themselves as Art Nouveau artist. It is indeed the boldness, the sense of adventure and the desire to revolt that makes Art Nouveau such a pleasant trip for the senses!
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Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin to meet in Versailles

Putin is due to meet Macron at Versailles
The newly elected French president, Emmanuel Macron, is due to meet Russias Vladimir Putin for the first time on 29 May at the Chteau de Versailles, where they will inaugurate a major exhibition celebrating the 300th anniversary of Peter the Greats diplomatic visit to France in 1717. The meeting falls on a Monday, when the palace and grounds are closed to the public.

The show Peter the Great, a Tsar in France (30 May-24 September) is billed as an exceptional collaboration between the palace and the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, which is lending around 100 works. More than 150 paintings, sculptures, drawings, curiosities and books from the tsars private library will be brought together to retrace his two stays at Versailles, in May and June 1717. It is a symbolic occasion for Macron to renew Franco-Russian relations, which have deteriorated since Russias annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The news follows the cancellation of Putins long-planned trip to Paris last October, after the then French president Franois Hollande suggested that Russia had committed war crimes in Syria by supporting the bombing of Aleppo. The two heads of state were due to attend the opening of a Kremlin-funded Russian orthodox cathedral and cultural centre and the blockbuster exhibition Icons of Modern Art: the Shchukin Collection at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, which closed in March.

Sometimes an Easter bread is really just an Easter bread

Easter decorations or deliberate desecration (Photo: Pavel Chikov‏/Twitter)
Russias moral police are seeing penises everywhere and even a judge recently got fed up. On Thursday, 25 May, a magistrate in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk threw out a case against a woman who had been accused of deliberate desecration of a religious object for sharing an allegedly phallic image of kulich, a tall Russian Easter bread, adorned with the requisite eggs, on social media. Prosecutors called in a religion expert who said that overt sexuality had been condemned by Christianity from the time of St Augustine. Maybe they should have just risen above it all. 

Controversial Italian court ruling ousts five top museum directors

Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi with the new wave of 20 museum directors appointed in 2015. (Image: Courtesy Governo Italiano Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, Photo: Tiberio Barchielli)<br />
An Italian regional court has ousted five directors at Italys top museums, almost two years after they were appointed in an unprecedented shake-up of the countrys bureaucratic museums sector. The reform by the Italian culture ministry saw new leadersincluding, for the first time, seven foreigners take the helm of 20 top institutions and heritage sites, such as the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence and the Galleria Borghese in Rome, in August 2015. But on 24 May, the Lazio regional administrative tribunal (TAR) ruled that the recruitment process was not transparent and that foreigners had never been eligible to participate under Italian law.
 
The decision, which relates to two appeals by Italian candidates for the posts, declares five of the appointments void: Martina Bagnoli at the Galleria Estense in Modena; Paolo Giulierini, Eva DeglInnocenti and Carmelo Malacrino at the National Archaeological Museums of Naples, Taranto and Reggio Calabria respectively; and Austrian-born Peter Assmann at the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua. The other six foreign directors, including the German Eike Schmidt at the Uffizi and British-Canadian James Bradburne at the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, have not been affected. According to our sister paper Il Giornale dell'Arte, there is a risk that any foreign applicants will now be blocked from the ongoing selection process for the directorship of the Colosseum and its archaeological park in Rome, which closes on 30 June.
 
The judges said that some interviews were conducted via Skype and that the international selection committees method of ranking applicants was confusing. They also cited the wording of a clause in a 2001 law that prevents non-Italians from competing for public positions.
 
Dario Franceschini, the Italian culture minister, has pledged to overturn the ruling in the Council of State, describing it as a blow to a reform that has already yielded impressive results. The recruitment process respected not only European and national law, but also the highest international standards, as recognised by the International Council of Museums, the culture ministry says in a statement.
 
It is absurd to make distinctions over the nationality of candidates, Franceschini told Italian media. The director of the National Gallery [in London] is Italian while the British Museums is German. Interim directors will be chosen to run the five museums in question, Franceschini said.

US billionaire Thomas Kaplan plans to send collection of Dutch Old Masters to Russia

Thomas Kaplan (Image: © Sue Raya Shaheen)
Thomas Kaplan, the US billionaire metals investor who owns more Rembrandts than anyone else, plans to send his collection of Dutch Old Masters to Russia as part of its world tour. 

The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg is in negotiations to show the Leiden Collection in 2018, a spokeswoman says. The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow has also been earmarked as a possible venue, according to the Economist. The Pushkin could not be reached for comment.

The New York-based Leiden Collection, the largest private collection of 17th-century Dutch painting amassed over 14 years by Kaplan and his wife Daphne Recanati Kaplan, was unveiled at the Muse du Louvre in February. Sixty-eight pictures are now on their way to the National Museum in Beijing for an exhibition opening on 16 June. A bigger show is due to follow at the Long Museum in Shanghai. The Louvre Abu Dhabi will be the final destination on the tour.

Since 2003, and with the assistance of Old Master dealers Johnny van Haeften, Otto Naumann and Salomon Lilian, the Kaplans have acquired more than 200 works. They include 11 paintings and two drawings by Rembrandt, the largest number in private hands, and the only privatelyowned paintings by Vermeer and the highly sought-after Carel Fabritius, a pupil of Rembrandt. There are only around 30 Rembrandts in private hands, according to Kaplan.
 
The potential loan to Russia comes at a time when US-Russian relations are highly strained. Kaplan previously told The Art Newspaper that he views the tour as an opportunity to build bridges at a time when so many are being burned all over the world.

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