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Fin de Siècle at its best – The Paris Metro

Fin de Siècle at its best – The Paris Metro

On July 19 1900, Paris, cultural center of the Belle Époche, opened its Métro. The Paris Métro stations with their Fin de Siècle charme and Art Nouveau design have become a timeless icon of the city. The Paris Mètro was the sixth metro in the world after London (1863)[5], Liverpool (1893), Budapest and Glasgow (both 1896) and Vienna. Main achievements of the Exposition Universelle in 1900 were the introduction of escalators, talking films, the…
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Audacity and Singularity in Design – Antoni Gaudi

Audacity and Singularity in Design – Antoni Gaudi

If you are going to Barcelona, Spain, it is rather unlikely that you will leave without having visited one of the fascinating architectural creations of famous architect and designer Antoni Gaudí, the frontfigure of the so-called Catalan Modernism, who was born on June 25, 1852. Architecture, nature, religion, and the love to his home country Catalonia were the driving forces of Gaudí‘s work. His work transcended mainstream Modernisme, culminating in an organic style inspired by…
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Albrecht Dürer – Master of Northern Renaissance

Albrecht Dürer – Master of Northern Renaissance

On May 21, 1471, German painter, engraver, printmaker, mathematician, and theorist Albrecht Dürer was born. He was considered as one of the greatest artists of the Northern Renaissance. Aside from painting, he also excelled in prints. Many of his works focused on Roman Catholicism, mostly altarpieces and other related religious art, but he also did numerous self-portraits. Moreover, his works were also backed up by theories, which join concepts in math, idealistic proportions…
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Georges Braque – Master of Cubism

Georges Braque – Master of Cubism

On May 13, 1882, French painter and sculptor Georges Braque was born, who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art style known as Cubism, an early-20th-century avant-garde art movement that revolutionized European painting and sculpture. In Cubist artwork, objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater…
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‘Art is the Daughter of Freedom’ – Friedrich Schiller

‘Art is the Daughter of Freedom’ – Friedrich Schiller

On May 9, 1805, the German poet, philosopher, and historian Friedrich Schiller passed away in Weimar, Germany. As a representative of the Weimar Classicism and the ‘Sturm und Drang’ (Storm and Drive) movement, Schiller published some of the most influential works of the time. “He who has done his best for his own time has lived for all times.” — Friedrich Schiller, Wallenstein (1798), Prologue – Wallensteins Lager (Wallenstein’s Camp) Early Youth Friedrich…
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St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome

On April 18, 1506, the foundation stone of the new St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome took place under the guidance of Pope Julius II. A succession of popes and architects followed in the next 120 years, their combined efforts resulting in the present building. Today, St. Peter’s is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and remains one of the largest churches in the world. The Origins of St Peter It is…
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Nadar and How Photography became an Art

Nadar and How Photography became an Art

On April 5, 1820, Gaspard-Félix Tournachon better known under his pseudonym Nadar, was born. He is considered to be one of the first grand masters of photography, besides being a caricaturist, a journalist, a novelist, and also a renown balloonist. Early Years Tall, red-haired, with frightened eyes, whimsical to the vagrant youth, Felix Nadar defined himself as “a real daredevil, a jack-of-all-trades, ill-mannered to the point of calling things by their name, and…
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Maria Sibylla Merian and her Love for Nature’s Details

Maria Sibylla Merian and her Love for Nature’s Details

On April 2, 1647, the German naturalist and scientific illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian was born. Even though she is not very well known for her achievements, she made significant contributions to entomology through the observation and documentation of the metamorphosis of the butterfly. The Birth of Entomology The fact that Maria Sibylla Merian is not well known throughout the scientific community is probably caused by the fact that the study of nature…
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Karl Friedrich Schinkel and the Prussian City Scapes

Karl Friedrich Schinkel and the Prussian City Scapes

On March 13, 1781, Prussian architect, city planner, and painter Karl Friedrich Schinkel was born, who was one of the most prominent architects of Germany of the neoclassical and neogothic epoch. He shaped the city scapes of Berlin and Potsdam with his neoclassical buildings and palaces. “Phlegm, whether physical or mental, is a sinful state for the one who lives in times of education.” — Karl Friedrich Schinkel Early Years Karl Friedrich…
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Maurice Ravel and Musical Impressionism

Maurice Ravel and Musical Impressionism

On March 7, 1875, French composer, pianist and conductor Maurice Ravel was born. In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally regarded as France‘s greatest living composer. He liked to experiment with musical form, as in his best-known work, Boléro (1928), in which repetition takes the place of development. “Then M. Ravel discussed another idea. That was that in these days of cacophony it might be quite an original idea for the orchestra…
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