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Archive for the ‘architecture’ Category

It would go too far to describe the entire history of gardening in the Nineteenth Century, so I’ll just give you some tidbits:

Wardian Case: The Wardian case was invented by Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, in 1829. By accident he found out that his ferns grew very well in bottles, and he developed this idea to a larger case to hold full-grown flowers. This meant a great increase in the amount of flowers available in Europe. It became easier to import flowers because they were encased in a constant climate and did not suffer from the change of air and temperature while they were transported, and it was easier to keep exotic flowers alive during winter.

(Image from Wikipedia.)

Lawnmower: The lawnmower was invented in the first half of the Nineteenth Century, and was inproved quickly from a large and difficult machine to something that could be used by hand, by everybody. (Of course, women would not mow lawns.) The invention of the lawnmower caused a big rise in lawns in garden design around 1840, where before mostly flower arrangements and grit were fashionable.

Using flowers in interior design: Of course the Victorians were keen to find new ways to decorate the interior. Flowers were increasingly used in the Nineteenth century, not just as a bouquet but arranged as large ornaments. Here are some images from the book “The Victorian Flower Garden” by Jennifer Davies.

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A popular pastime in the Nineteenth Century: an organized fern hunt. Found ferns could be added to ones fern collection, which was immensely popular.
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As a follow-up to my post about Ludwig II of Bavaria, a post about the castles he built.

I think in his time, Ludwig might be seen in the same manner we regard someone like Michael Jackson, and his castles remind of MJ’s Neverland Ranch.

The most impressive castle is Neuschwanstein, which was built by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner.

Herrenchiemsee is the biggest palace, but nor very impressive compared to Ludwig’s fairytale-style castles.

The Linderhof is the smallest castle, and the only of his buildings that Ludwig saw completed.  You can clearly see how it was inspired by Louis XIV’s Versailles, in the shape of the castle.

The Königshaus am Schachen is, as the name says, more a house then a castle. It can only be reached after hours of walking. It was officially meant to be a hunter’s resort, but Ludwig used it to celebrate his birthdays.

Castle Falkenstein is a ruin Ludwig bought in 1883, with the intention to transform it into a fairytale castle. However since he died in 1886, the castle was never completed. This is how it was supposed to look when finished:

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The architect that most accurately captures the spirit of the Art Nouveau (or Jugendstil) is, in my opinion, Victor Horta. Horta was born in 1861 in Ghent (Belgium) and started his carreer as a interior designer in Montmartre, Paris. After his father’s death he moved to Brussels, where he graduated at the Academy of Arts and received his first gold medal for his art.
A year after graduating he started his own bureau, entered many contests and networked a lot, which paid off because Horta became a very popular artist. 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, for example the bel étage and the soutterain.

Due to copyright issues, not a lot of Horta architecture pictures are online (and you can’t take pictures in the museum!) So if you’re ever visiting Brussels, checking out some Horta buildings will be definately worth the effort!

victor horta hotel tassel staircase
The famous staircase in Hotel Tassel

horta tassel hotel entrance
The entrance of the Hotel Tassel

victor horta rue americaine
Rue Americaine

The website of the Horta museum, with lots of info.

The Lifejournal community for Art Nouveau

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