Barcelona 2018 – Day 3

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After that spectacular 2nd day, there was still more to come! For one, I was looking forward to Paul Greenhalgh’s Keynote Speech. Further, I was very curious about Maarten, Saskia and Lilla’s presentations. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the presentations of the 3rd strand. But it promised to be at least another interesting day.

Vlaho Bukovac - Cabinet with future Slaves

Vlaho Bukovac, Ormar Buduće Slave (Cabinet of Future Glory)

III coupDefouet International Congress 2018 – Day 3

Strand 3 Les Fleurs du Mal: Style in a Troubled Age

By the end of the 19th century, social crisis brings with it a series of behaviours and phenomena that upset the human psyche. Diverse illnesses, neuroses, paroxysms and altered states of conscience are among the symptoms of a perceived sickness of mind and body. Fascination for hypnosis, drugs and other therapeutic attempts to cure ailments such as female hysteria – then seen as an illness – are related to the sexual and gender prejudice of a patriarchal society. In this context, Eros and Thanatos are seen as a bipolar tension, in which the forces of life and death, sex and destruction are present in a particular iconography of fin-de-siècle eroticism.

Author Title
Strand 3 Les Fleurs du Mal: Style in a Troubled Age
Keynote Speech by Paul Greenhalgh Les Fleurs du Mal: Style in a Troubled Age
Juan Carlos Bejarano Veiga And the bride wore black… Eros and Thanatos in the painting ‘Mis funerales’ by Miguel Viladrich
Mariàngels Fondevila & Elena Llorens Beauty & Eroticism in Fin-de-siècle Art
Irene Gras Valero Macabre Loves: From the Erotization of Dying Beauty to Corpse Profanation
Tove Kristin Lande Eros and Thanatos in Norwegian Art Nouveau
Thomas Moser Buildings of Flesh and Bone Embodied Architecture in French Art Nouveau
Txema Romero Martínez Ismael Smith, Nude and Naked

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As to be expected, we saw the most remarkable works of art come by during the morning session. Erotic works, macabre paintings, death, nudes, funerals, brides, fantastic creatures… you name it, we saw it. And then some! It makes you wonder what these fin-de-siècle artists were drinking!?!?

According to Paul Greenhalgh, the explanation can be found in Siegfried Bings explanation of the principle of L’Art Nouveau in The Craftsman of October 1903. “The title of l’Art Nouveau designated a field lying outside the narrow boundaries within which, beneath the pressure of a time-honored slavery, a class of degenerate products was approaching extinction. It designated a free soil upon which any one could build according to his own desires. Therefore, there was no pre-conceived idea, no restrained as to the form of expression. But there was, nevertheless, a common idea: (…) the true bond between the innovators resided in the hatred of stagnation… an energetic protest against the hiatus which, for an entire century, had suspended animation in that branch of art.

Glad we have that clear now…

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During lunch break, I decided to visit the Palau de la Musica, which had been on my bucket list for quite a few years now. One day, I would love to attend a concert at the venue, but for now, a guided tour would have to suffice. The first tour available was in French, and fortunately, the guide spoke slowly and clearly, so I didn’t miss anything.

The Palau de la Música Catalana was built between 1905 and 1908 by the modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner as a home for the Orfeó Català, the Catalan Choir. (And between you and me, I think I like his work much more than Gaudi’s work. But don’t tell anyone!) It is just beyond beautiful… words can’t do this building justice.

Hurrying back to Casa Milà I ate a sandwich, to arrive just in time for Maarten’s presentation about the relationship between poster design and other artistic output during the Art Nouveau and Jugendstil Era.

Strand 4 (cont.) Research and Doctoral Thesis in Progress

The selection of papers within this strand will favour presentations by researchers and research groups whose ongoing projects may stimulate a discussion in which both young postgraduate students who are working on their doctoral theses and more experienced researchers in the field of Art Nouveau can share their analyses and opinions.

Author Title
Fàtima López Pérez International Research of Art Nouveau in Puebla (Mexico)
Maarten Nubé The Relationship Between Poster Design and Other Artistic Output During the Art Nouveau and Jugendstil Era
Carles Rius Santamaria Aesthetic Geometry and Light in the Church of Valldonzella Monastery
Saskia Thoelen Promoting Art Nouveau in Modern Tokyo – Mitsukoshi and the ‘Contemporary Kimono’
Lilla Zámbó From the “Little Blue Church” to European Heritage – “Heritagisation” of Hungarian Art Nouveau Architecture in the Carpathian Basin (the example of Bratislava)

I had really been looking forward to Saskia’s presentation, but she talked so fast that it was hard for me to follow her. I will be glad to read her paper once it is published. It was nice to hear from Lilla what she’s been up to recently.

Now, just to remind you one more time: all participants of the coupDefouet congress receive a VIP-package with vouchers for almost every Art Nouveau museum in Barcelona! Before, between and after the presentations, we visit as many museum as we can cram into our schedules. There are even excursions to museums outside of Barcelona; sometimes by organised busses, sometimes by train. And so, every participant get’s to create his/her own itinerary, according to his/her own preferences. I will tell you about my excursions later…

This day ended with a guided tour of the Palau Baro de Quadras, which was built between 1904 and 1906 by architect Puig i Cadafalch.

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Are you passionate about Art Nouveau? And would you like to share your excitement with kindred spirits? Then the coupDefouet congress is where you need to be! This is where you will learn something new all day every day, where you get to expand your professional network and, maybe most importantly, where you’ll meet friends for life. See you there next time?

(You can read my blogs about the previous congress here.)

Read More:
III coupDefouet International Congress official website
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Palau Baró de Quadras
Scientific Committee
Siegfried Bing
The Craftsman – October 1903

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