Visit Art Nouveau in Paris

What ever you are a fan or a beginner, the best way to appreciate Art Nouveau buildings is to come and see them. I know that it is not always easy. There are hundreds of things to do or to see in Paris. But I think it is worth walking through the streets, looking for Art Nouveau. Find here an interactive visit using Google Maps. There are much more buildings described than in this page.

In this page, you will find a restricted list may help you to choose the best in every field of AN buildings. I have voluntary presented Art Nouveau buildings in all their diversity

My Paris Art Nouveau best of

The Métropolitain

The first thing every visitor sees when he arrives in Paris is the Guimard's Métropolitain entrences (also called Métro). They are the most well known Art Nouveau buildings of Paris. But do you know that these entrances are not all the same? It remains still 4 types of entrences: basic (Ex: Métro "Place d'Italie", Paris 13 in front of the Gaumont grand écran), with lights (This is the most common type. Ex: Métro "Monceau"), and two types with a roof (Métro "Porte Dauphine" Paris 16 and Métro "Abbesses" Paris 18). But in 1900, existed also some whole Art Nouveau metro stations at "Bastille" and "Champs Elysées". They were destroyed in the late sixties. I have no pictures of them but if you pass by Monparnasse station line 6, there is a picture of them from an old postcard. Or if you like French cinema, you can see one of them in the famous movie "Zazie dans le métro" by Louis Malle. The entences are in cast iron and the pieces were highly standardized to lower the costs. Even if the station can look very different they reuse lot's of parts. Their organic shapes are typical from the Art Nouveau curved style. You may also find at Métro Bastille an other covered station : this one is not an original station but was reconstructed in 2000 for the 100th anniversary of the Métro. It is a mix of the parts from Dauphine (roof) and from Abbesses (walls-railings)

Art Nouveau and marketing

Art nouveau has been a fashion. An Art for everybody. A lot of shops, cafés or restaurants have been build or redesigned in this style. See the fantastic Tati, 140, rue de Rennes (Métro Montparnasse) by Auscher (1904) which was originally build for the grocery "Felix Potin". You can appreciate there what Salvador Dali called an "eatable" architecture. See the interior of the café de Paris by Sauvage (1899) at the Musée Carnavalet (23, rue de Sévigné, Métro Saint Paul). You can see in this museum also the interior of the jewelery Fouquet by Mucha.

Many restaurants and some of the greatest are decorated in the Art Nouveau style. Maxim's by Marnez and Lucas Carton by Majorelle are very expensive and you should book a table before going there. I can advise you also some cheaper restaurants such as La Fermette de Marboeuf - Métro Georges V) which is close to the jewelery Fouquet in the style. Other restaurants are described in the FAQ.

Guimard's buildings

The "Castel Béranger" (1894-1898) by Guimard is a must see. It is one of Guimard's master pieces and his first building built in Art Nouveau style. By the use of multiple materials to lower the price. By the unity of the decoration going from the door to the floor tiles going by the wall paper. This building is magic.

There are many buildings from Guimard in the 16th quater you can find them yourself if you have a good eye or just mail me. There is also a little guide (very cheap) on architecture walks in Paris I bought in the Musée d'Orsay bookshop. It is called "Promenades d'architecture à Paris" by Bert Mc Clure and Bruno Régnier (Editor "La Decouverte / Le Monde / SOL"). One of the walk deals with Guimard in the 16th quater. This guide was a good value but I do not know if they continue to sell it. (59F less than 10€, I have no financial interest in this guide)

You can also find all Guimard's building in Paris in the Interactive Art Nouveau visit of Paris

Social buildings

See the "immeuble à gradins" by Sauvage in 1912. This building shows the innovative ways followed by Art nouveau to tackle with problems such as poor enlightement (There is at that time an epidemic of tuberculosis) with it's terraces, personnal gardens, healthyness with the ceramic cover. This building has been build with reinforced concreate.

In the search of cheap buildings and good value, you have to notice the 7, rue Trétaigne, Paris 18 by Sauvage (1903-04). It is a good try in the way to helthyness, including a rationnal visible structure in the direct heritage from Viollet le Duc (concreate and bricks) and Art Nouveau decoration (doors, chimneys..). Almost all Art Nouveau artists had an interest in the social matter.

26, rue Vavin by Henri Sauvage
7, rue trétaigne by Henri Sauvage

Iron buildings

The original building from the newspaper " Le Parisien Libéré" and now the head office of France Cable Radio (France Télécom group): 124, rue de Réaumur, Paris 2 by the architect Chédanne, (Métro Réaumur Sébastopole). This iron and glass building has a pretty Art Nouveau shape.

124, rue de Réaumur

Eclectism and Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau has been along with eclectism and historiscism. Some buildings, like the one built at 29, avenue Rapp, Paris 7 by Lavirotte in 1901 are close to these movements. Dali liked very much this facade because he thought it was the most erotic facade of Paris. If you don't believe him, come and see yourself!

29, avenue Rapp

Ceramic buildings

25bis, rue Franklin
185, rue Belliard

I will advise you two buildings: the first one is a youth work from 1903 by Auguste Perret, one of the reinforced concreat pionneer. You can see it at 25 bis, rue Franklin, Paris 16. The second one is located in the 18th quater: 185, rue Belliard by the architect Deneux.

Continuing the visit...

There is much more to see in Paris concerning Art Nouveau. The Museum to see about Art Nouveau is the Musée d'Orsay. And plenty other Art Nouveau buildings are shown in my Interactive Art Nouveau visit of Paris

External related URLs to Art Nouveau and Paris:

Click here to go to the complete list of web sites related to Art Nouveau. If you want to share a new link related to this topic, just mail me. Only non commercial sites are included

©1993-2012 Frank Derville
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