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Entries / Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau

Categories / Architecture/Architectural Styles

ART NOUVEAU (from the French for "new art"), the style in architecture and art of the late19th - early 20th centuries. In St. Petersburg, it developed from the end of 1890s through to the early 1910s. The adherents of the Art Nouveau strived to create the new style forms and means of expression, rejecting the use of old styles. The complete aesthetic innovation of subject and space media happened due to the search for the structural integrity of buildings, the organic intercommunication of functional, constructive, and compositional decisions. The formation of the St. Petersburg Art Nouveau developed under the strong, and determinant, at first, influence of the new trends in Europe. The earliest Art Nouveau buildings in St. Petersburg were designed by the architects G.V. Baranovsky, K.K. Schmidt, V.V. Schaub, R.F. Meltzer. Early Art Nouveau (prior to mid-1900) is characterized by dominating of fluid curvilinear shapes, decorative-ornamental image organization, individualization of elements and stylization of natural (mainly plant) motifs. These features are apparent in the works of architect F.F. Lumberg (his private house in 9 Perekupny Lane;1903), F. F. von Postels (the house on 28 Bolshaya Zelenina Street; 1904-05), M.F. Geissler (the mansion of M.G. Savina, 17 Literatorov Street, 1905-06). A group of mansions on Kamenny Island (architects V.I. Shene, Меltzer etc.) is characterized by expressive use of plastics, picturesque silhouettes, contrasting combinations of materials and a Neo-Romantic treatment of the image. The structural principles of Art Nouveau - planning with fluid spaces of apartments, asymmetrical composition with embrasures different in sizes and conformation - are implemented one by one in the building of Vitebsky Railway Station (1901-04, architects S.A. Brzhozovsky, S.I. Minash), in mansions of M. F. Kschessinska (1904-06, architect A.I. von Gogen, see Kschessinska Mansion) and of S.N. Chaev (1906-07, architect V.P. Apyshkov). The Northern Art Nouveau formed under influence of the Finnish and Swedish national Romanticism and became widely spread in St. Petersburg. The architect F.I. Lidval became its founder and leader, while architects I. A. Pretro (the house on 44 Bolshoy Avenue of Petrogradskaya Side, 1906-07), N.V. Vasilyev and A.F. Bubyr were its followers. The Art Nouveau added plastic expression, intensive dynamics and active outlines to the buildings of St. Petersburg. Natural stone, polychrome facing brick and tiles and other textured finish enriched the architectural palette of the city. Sculptural reliefs, decorative metal, majolica, mosaics, and stained glass were widely used in the decoration of interiors. In the elaborated Art Nouveau style (mid-1900s - early 1910s), tendencies for a clear rationalization, geometry and laconicism became clear. The development of rational tendencies caused the emergence of proto-constructivist trend of the Art Nouveau, based on the principles of functional practicability, revealing of the constructive basis of buildings. The examples of the aesthetic treatment of metallic or cast-iron wire frame structures with large glass surfaces can be seen in the trade buildings of S. Esders and K. Skheifals (73/15 Moika River Embankment; 1906-07, architect K.N. de Rochefort, V.A. Lipsky); the Trade House of the Guards' Economical Society ( 21-23 Bolshaya Konyushennaya Street, 1908-09, 1912-13, architects E. F. Wirrich, N.V. Vasilyev etc.), New Passage (57 Liteiny Avenue, 1912-13, architect N.V. Vasilyev). The influence of shape-making methods of the Art Nouveau was also reflected in free treatment of historical prototypes, mainly typical for the modernized Neoclassic (architect Lidval) and the Neobyzantine style (architects V.A. Pokrovsky, D.A. Kryzhanovsky, A.P. Aplaksin). In the early 1910s, Art Nouveau was pushed back by Neoclassicism and other retrospective trends.

References: 100 лет петербургскому модерну: Материалы науч. конф. СПб., 2000; Кириков Б. М. Архитектура петербургского модерна: Особняки и доходные дома. СПб., 2003.

Б. М. Кириков.

Aplaksin Andrey Petrovich
Apyshkov Vladimir Petrovich
Baranovsky Gavriil Vasilievich
Brzhovsky Stanislav Antonovich
Bubyr Alexey Fedorovich
Chaev Sergey Nikolaevich
Esders S.
Geissler Mikhail Fedorovich
Gogen Alexander Ivanovich von
Kryzhanovsky Dmitry Andreevich
Kschessinska Mathilde (Maria) Felixovna
Lidval Fedor (Iogan Friedrich) Ivanovich
Lipsky Vladimir Alexandrovich
Lumberg Fedor Fedorovich
Meltzer Roman (Robert-Friedrich) Fedorovich
Minash Sima Isaakovich (Semen Isaevich)
Pokrovsky Vladimir Alexandrovich
Postels Fedor Fedorovich (Friedrich Friedrichovich) von
Pretro Ippolit Alexandrovich
Rochefort Konstantin Nikolaevich de, Count
Rochefort Nikolay Ivanovich de, Count
Savina Maria Gavrilovna
Schaub Vasily Vasilievich
Schmidt Karl Karlovich
Shene Vasily Ivanovich
Skheifals K.
Vasilyev Nikolay Vasilievich
Wirrich Ernest-Friedrich Franzevich

Bolshaya Konyushennaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 23
Bolshaya Konyushennaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 21
Bolshaya Zelenina Street/Saint Petersburg, city, house 28
Bolshoy Ave of Petrograskaya Storona/Saint Petersburg, city, house 44
Liteiny Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 57
Literatorov St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 17
Moika River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 73/15
Perekupnaya Lane/Saint Petersburg, city, house 9

100 лет петербургскому модерну: Материалы науч. конф. СПб., 2000
Кириков Б. М. Архитектура петербургского модерна: Особняки и доход. дома. СПб., 2003

The subject Index
Vitebsky Railway Station
Kschessinska Mansion
Chaev Mansion
Trade House of the Guards' Economic Society
New Passage

Architectural Styles (entry)

ARCHITECTURAL STYLES, recognizable systems of architectural compositional techniques, forms and decor, whose differences are caused by social and cultural environment, aesthetic preferences and the type of architectural culture of a particular epoch

Buddhist Temple

BUDDHIST TEMPLE, located at 91 Primorsky Avenue, an architectural monument, constructed in 1909-15 in Staraya Derevnya for the Mission of the Dalai Lama of Tibet, established in St. Petersburg in 1901, and the St

Chaev Mansion

CHAEV MANSION (9 Rontgen Street). An Art Nouveau architectural monument. Erected in 1906-1907 (architect V.P. Apyshkov) for the S.N. Chaev, engineer of communication routes

Grimm D.I., Grimm G.D., Grimm G.G., architects

GRIMMS, a dynasty of architects, theorists, art historians and teachers. David Ivanovich Grimm (1823, St. Petersburg - 1898), architect, representative of Eclecticism, master of the Russo-Byzantine style, historian of Caucasian Architecture

Holy Resurrection Church

HOLY RESURRECTION CHURCH, located at 116 Obvodny Canal Embankment, an architectural monument. The church was commissioned by Society for Religious and Moral Education, constructed in 1904-08 to the designs of architect G. D

Lidval F.I., (1870-1945), architect

LIDVAL Fedor Ivanovich (Iogan Friedrich) (1870, St. Petersburg - 1945), architect. Descendant of Swedish emigrants. Lidval graduated from the Academy of Arts (1896), a Fellow of the Academy of Architecture from 1909

Lishnevsky A.L., (1868-1942), architect

LISHNEVSKY Alexander Lvovich (1868-1942), architect, a noted Art Nouveau and Neoclassical artist. He graduated from the Academy of Arts in 1892, and worked in the Ukraine for some time. From 1901, he lived in St. Petersburg


MOSQUE, Central Mosque, located at 7 Kronverksky Avenue. An architectural monument, constructed in 1910-13 on a lot near Troitskaya Square bought in 1907 by the Emir of Bukhara. Designed by architects N. V. Vasilyev, S. S. Krichinsky and A. I

Necropolis of Artists

NECROPOLIS OF ARTISTS (in 1823-76, the New Lazarevskoe Cemetary; in 1876-1937, the Tikhvinskoe Cemetery). Memorial Necropolis Park included in 1937 in the City Sculpture Museum. Its square takes up 1.2 hectares

Novodevichye Cemetery

NOVODEVICHYE CEMETERY (100 Moskovsky Avenue). Situated in the southern part of St. Petersburg. Founded in 1845, for the Novodevichy Convent; burials lasted from 1849 to the 1930s. Its area includes 10 hectares

Roman Catholic Church of the French Embassy

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF THE FRENCH EMBASSY, the St. Maria of Lourde Roman Catholic Church of the French Embassy located at 7 Kovensky Lane. An architectural monument designed for the French Catholic Community by architects L. N. Benois and M. M

Zazersky A.I. (1876-1942), engineer, inventor

ZAZERSKY Alexey Ivanovich (1876, St. Petersburg - 1942, Leningrad), architect, one of the builders of the first St. Petersburg co-operative house. Father of N.A. Zazersky. Representative of the Art Nouveau and Neo-Classical styles