Tag: The Tree of Life

Art Nouevau: A decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe

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Art Nouevau: A decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe

Art Nouevau is decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe. It began in the 1880s as a reaction against the historical emphasis of mid-19th-century art, but did not survive World WarI. Art nouveau originated in London and was variously called Jugendstil in Germany, Sezessionstil in Austria, and Modernismo in Spain.

In general it was most successfully practiced in the decorative arts: furniture, jewelry, and book design and illustration. The style was richly ornamental and asymmetrical, characterized by a whiplash linearity reminiscent of twining plant tendrils. Its exponents chose themes fraught with symbolism, frequently of an erotic nature. They imbued their designs with dreamlike and exotic forms.

The outstanding designers of art nouveau in England include the graphic artist Aubrey Beardsley, A. H. Mackmurdo, Charles Ricketts, Walter Crane, and the Scottish architect Charles R. Mackintosh; in Belgium the architects Henry Van de Velde and Victor Horta; in France the architect and designer of the Paris métro entrances, Hector Guimard, and the jewelry designer René Lalique; in Austria the painter Gustav Klimt; in Spain the architect Antonio Gaudí; in Germany the illustrator Otto Eckmann and the architect Peter Behrens; in Italy the originator of the ornamental Floreale style, Giuseppe Sommaruga; and in the United States Louis Sullivan, whose architecture was dressed with art nouveau detail, and the designer of elegant glassware Louis C. Tiffany.

The aesthetics of the movement were disseminated through various illustrated periodicals including The Century Guild Hobby Horse (1894), The Dial (1889), The Studio (begun, 1893), The Yellow Book (1894–95), and The Savoy (1896–98). The works of Beardsley and Tiffany were especially popular.

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Judaism: The Tree of Life of the Jewish Kabbalah Art Print

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Judaism: The Tree of Life of the Jewish Caballa Art Print

Kabbalah

Kabbalah is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the mystical aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an eternal and mysterious Creator and the mortal and finite universe (His creation). While it is heavily used by some denominations, it is not a denomination in and of itself; it is a set of scriptures that exist outside the traditional Jewish Scriptures.

Kabbalah seeks to define the nature of the universe and the human being, the nature and purpose of existence, and various other ontological questions. It also presents methods to aid understanding of these concepts and to thereby attain spiritual realization. Kabbalah originally developed entirely within the realm of Jewish thought and constantly uses classical Jewish sources to explain and demonstrate its esoteric teachings. These teachings are thus held by kabbalists to define the inner meaning of both the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and traditional rabbinic literature, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious observances.

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The Tree of Life, Stoclet Frieze, c.1909

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The Tree of Life, Stoclet Frieze, c.1909

About the Artwork

Symbolizing spiritual enlightenment and the union of heaven and earth, “Tree of Life” portrays a universal motif in a unique context of curlicues and gleaming gold leaf. Created by renowned Viennese Secession and Art Nouveau genius Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), the piece features the lavish ornamentation and gold embellishments prominent in his work. A forerunner of Modernism and the Art Deco movements, Klimt’s enormous creative influence still resonates in modern art, decorations and jewelry.

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