Did you know that Paris is the place where art nouveau started ?
During the 20th century, Paris’ architecture began to be influenced by the art nouveau style. Many buildings testify of that influence. Art nouveau is an art that focuses on shapes and colors, inspired by nature. We can find references to nature directly through the way artworks are designed.
Hector Guimard was one of the main actor of this artistic movement. He was born in 1867 and died in 1942. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of Paris where he discovered the basics of classic architecture.
You may have seen one of his masterpiece in Paris. Here is a list of some of his artworks that you can find in the city of lights :
His Subway Entrance in the Bastille district is a Parisian symbol, and probably the most famous of his works. He made that entrance in 1899, inspired by the shapes of plants.
Hector Guimard’s style can also be seen at the Hotel Castel Béranger in the 14 rue de la Fontaine in Paris 16th arrondissement. This construction was created for one of his friend, Mme Fournier, in 1898. It is a Masterpiece of Art nouveau, that was rewarded by the 1st prize of the best Paris building in 1898. The shapes are circular, organic, using transparence. The stones and the iron he used for the doors and windows are sculpted and inspired from plants.
We can find similar features at the Hôtel Guimard situated 102 rue Mozart. This Hotel was his home. Like Hotel Castel Béranger, windows and doors are made from sculpted stones and iron. The plant-themed style is also present. If you visit one of these places, you will observe that he signed all of his works in the main entrance.
Hector Guimard’s influence in the Art Nouveau movement was the most important; his artworks can give a perfect idea of this style in Paris. Move around Paris and see his works, it’s free and beautiful !