Item description for Biedermeier by Jiri Rak & Lawrence Jenkins...
This book sets out to investigate the wealth of the artistic production that developed in Central Europe (Austria and Bohemia in particular) in the first half of the 19th century, when Biedermeier appeared as an original attempt to give rise to a "universal" stylistic expression. Its simplicity of line, rigorous and simple although not lacking in elegance and refinement, the appearance of the first craft productions based on standard models and its unquestionable modernity all make Biedermeier the first example of design, the undisputed point of breakdown between Classicism and Modernism. Indeed, it is considered on the most fascinating genres of the 19th century.
The volume offers a 360° view of Central European production using more than 300 objects of extraordinary originality, quality and workmanship from the National Gallery and Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts of Prague and from major Bohemian museums. Paintings, furnishings, sculptures, drawings, graphic works, artistic craftsmanship, jewels, ceramics and glassware that decorated the homes of gentry and bourgeois, miniatures, daguerreotypes... Remarkable pieces such as the refined lady's desk, designed and constructed in the workshop of the most important creator of Biedermeier furniture, the Viennese Josef Danhauser (1780- 1829), and a beautiful lyre- shaped secrétaire with walnut veneer and musical motif carvings that overcome the ostentation of Empire style.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 9.75" Height: 11.25" Weight: 3.7 lbs.
Release Date Oct 5, 2001
ISBN 888118866X ISBN13 9788881188666
Reviews - What do customers think about Biedermeier?
A Superb and Informative Book Feb 10, 2010
First, the objects speak for themselves -- to anyone who doesn't have an aesthetic heart of stone.
Furniture, utterly functional, embracing clean lines, simple shapes, yet revolutionarily designed to let the natural beauty of the wood be the centerpiece. Porcelain ceramics with gild, but, notably, with decorations of local scenes that celebrate regional things, not just the wealth of the owner. Visual art that centers on the individual, the family, rather than on gods and goddesses cavorting. Tumblers and glassware, pellucid, glowing things that are oddly modern in their strong geometric shapes. This book even extends into clothing (peasant-y details), jewelry, visual art, and even a couple of images of beautiful spitoons which, apparently, were a new and polite development in middle-class homes.
Like the best books with illustrations, the text informs the pictures and the pictures inform the text.
So here's what this book shows me -- Biedermeier isn't a single artistic movement but is rather a complicated, wholesale, and multi-faceted shift. Goodbye Neo-Classical, French, Napoleonic splendor. Hello 20th century.
When I get my time machine, I'm not going to go to the US to purchase Federal furniture. I'm going to Austria and Bohemia to purchase Biedermeier objects.
Hardback with dustjacket, 263 pp, sewn binding. 3 essays. Mostly color illustrations on every page. Index, Chronology, Bibliography, Appendices.
TABLE OF CONTENTS The Biedermeier Period in Austria and Bohmeia and its Legacy Biedermeier and its Semantics Biedermeier: A Bourgeois Style in the Restoration Period
The Social Ethos Placing the Objects: Form and Style The Cult of the Family The City: Life and Entertainment Between Nature and Industry The 1848 Revolution and the End of Biedermeier
Appendices Chronology Biographical Notes and a List of Manufacturers (12 pp) Bibliography (3 pp)