German Greek Revival, Biedermeier

Early 19th century architecture in Germany and Austria continues the Neoclassical development first in the Greek Revival style, which is followed by a more eclectic approach that encompasses the Italian Renaissance, Byzantine, Early Christian, and Romanesque. The term Biedermeier applies mainly to middle-class interiors and furniture in Austria and Germany during the period of 1815 to 1848. This style is an adaption of French Empire, and replaces formality and majesty with comfort and function.

Design Characteristics:
1. German Greek Revival: derives its details from Roman architecture and ancient Greek. The style features Greek and Roman temple forms, the Greek orders, plain walls, and minimal classically derived ornament.
2. Biedermeier: interiors display bright colors, good lighting, warm woods, plants, and flowers, contributing to an inviting atmosphere. lots of furniture – especially chairs to support numerous activities. Families personalize each home to be their own with portraits and collectables.
3. types: museums, monuments, gateways, galleries, theaters, prisons, factories, markets, squares, row houses, apartments, and palaces.
4. floor plans: symmetrical and rectangular in shape
5. materials: brick in northern germany but others prefer local stone. (Colored brick, terra-cotta, and cast iron are introduced).
6. facades: temple fronts or colonnades announce important buildings
7. windows: columns, pilasters, or plain lintels may accentuate rectangular windows
8. doors: porticoes, temple fronts, or aedicula define and emphasize entrances
9. roofs: low pitched gabled roofs

Furniture: Large areas of veneer that emphasize the grain of the wood characterize most Biedermeier furniture. Pieces are composed of geometric solids that do not blend or unify but assert themselves as in architecture.
Relationships: Furniture is light in scale and often multipurpose to suite small spaces.
Materials: local woods, light-colored fruitwood, some pieces have inlay or marquetry
Seating: looks comfortable and inviting with its curves and deep, overstuffed seats. Side chairs outnumber armed chairs because you can move them easier.

As far as Symbols and Motifs go…they fall over Decorative Arts as well.
Motifs: architecture and furniture exhibit classical motifs including columns, Egyptian terms, pediments, Greed key or fret, acanthus leaves, palmettes, lyres, urns, hearts, arrows, and a stylized Prince of Wales motif.
Decorative Arts: Mirrors, numerous pictures, family portraits, or silhoettes hang on the walls. Screens may divide spaces or hide beds in drawing rooms and washstands in bedrooms. Proudly displayed, porcelain has classical or urn shapes with natruralistic palnts and flowers in colored panels or surrounded by borders. Blown and cut glass, plain or colored, is particularly prized. Bavaria is an important well-know center for glassmaking.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s