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Alfons Mucha (1860-1939)

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For me Mucha was a great way to start appreciating art. Together with Henri de Toulouse Lautrec ( roughly from the same period), Alfons Mucha was the artist i appreciated the most in my mid teenage period. Accessible art and still a little bit more avant garde than the Impressionist painters who were widely appreciated in those days. Mucha was THE Art Nouveau artist and together with some French and Belgian artist was the top in Art Nouveau art. The art of Alfons Mucha is highly recognizable. The use of women models who look straight at you is one of his trademarks.

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Since for me personally a lot has changed. From the accessible Art Nouveau by Mucha i made a “travel” through art history which resulted in appreciating Minimal and conceptual art. Still Mucha has a lot of quality and for those seeking a nice work by an Art Nouveau , please include the works by Mucha, since there are many extremely nice prints now available since this artist is copyright free. For those looking for some publications on Mucha , visit www.ftn-books.com

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Henry van de Velde ( 1863-1957)

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What is possibly not known to many is that they have visited one of the masterpieces by Henry van de Velde in the past. The architecture of the Museum Kroller Muller was done by van de Velde after the family Kroller Muller turned down the sketches and plans by both Mies van der Rohe and Berlage. The new building was necessary for them to present their extremely large collection of van Gogh paintings. Later this collection has become the fundament of their collection which included highlights by many other contemporary artist, but the van Gogh’s are in most cases the reason why visitors from all over the world visit this museum in the forests of Park de Hoge Veluwe.

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van de Velde designed a beautiful building with spectacular views on the surrounding forests and sculpture park. Later Wim Quist designed the necessary annex building , because the collection had grown too large for the old building alone and the museum was in need of an extra exhibition space for large objects.

Beside architecture van de Velde was a multi talent who designed everything. From wall papers to kitchen were all was executed with an exquisite taste.

www.ftn-books.com has some books available on Henry van de Velde

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Rozenburg porcelain ( 1883-1916) ….dutch Art Nouveau

I consider the products by the Rozenburg porcelain factory from The Hague to be the best examples of Dutch Art nouveau ever. Of course many would consider the “Slaolie” poster by Jan Toorop to be the best example of Dutch Art Nouveau, but for me it is all bundled within the eggshell porcelain product by the Rozenburg factory. Hand painted with the most delicate patterns and illustrations these belong to the absolute top in Art Nouveau design, Take a look at these examples .

They are all of the utmost quality and show the best  in design and painting. In the early 80’s  the ultimate book on Rozenburg porcelain was published. Written and curated by Marjan Boot, who later would become head of the design department at the Stedelijk Museum AMsterdam. The reason whhy this book is still the best on the subject is because it contains a special chapter filled with stamps and autographs of the Rozenburg master painters. I am fortunate to have this title available at www.ftn-books.com