Partage Plus Conference in Rome

The International Conference on “The new bourgeois taste” promoted by Istituto centrale per il catalogo unico delle biblioteche italiane Galleria nazionale d’arte moderna e contemporanea Museo Andersen within the European project Partage Plus cooperation with Biblioteca nazionale centrale di Roma took place in Rome on the 21st of March 2013.

Liberty, Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Secession: these are all terms used to identify emerging artistic trends in Europe, which aimed for a renewal in art by eschewing the traditional, well-entrenched formulas of eclectic historicism and academism and instead profoundly embodying the spirit and contradictions of a society that was about to plunge into World War One.

The movement permeated all sectors of art and society during an arc of time that stretched beyond the rigidly-set limits of 1895-1918.

Εveryday life was not immune to this aesthetic – one need only think of furniture, where understated, neoclassical lines were replaced by soft, willowy ones, derived from nature and interpreted through a naturalistic prism. Its echoes were felt in fashion, graphic art, lithography (postcards, posters), ceramics, glasswork, and all forms of applied art, whose form and function were enhanced by the new movement.

By the time the Art Nouveau influence had reached painting and architecture, it had already acquired a solid cultural background made of shapes and colours that were familiar to the public at large, and much appreciated.

From decorative arts to painting, applied arts, design, and architecture, the expressive power of Art Nouveau relied on supple forms drawn from the worlds of animals - butterflies, fish - and plants and flowers, with a particular emphasis on the functional aspects linking objects to their surrounding space. Architecture in particular took on numerous shapes and forms, depending on the country where it originated.

The international conference featured a series of lectures on these topics, in the framework of the Partage Plus project. Please find more information about the conference "The new bourgeois taste" on the conference website. The full programme can also be found there.