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Biographies

BERLAGE, Hendrik Petrus (1856-1934)

A Dutch architect, urban planning expert and designer of furniture and decorative art. In 1900, he set up the "t Binnenhuis Inrichting tot Meubileering en Versiering der Woning" ("Interior Furnishing from Furniture to Decorating the House") with J. van den Bosch in Amsterdam. This is where traditional, and nowadays highly desired, pieces of art were made. Berlage is an important representative of modern Dutch architecture. He liberated his designs of the need to imitate history. His most famous constructions in Holland are the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam (1898-1903), his design for the Kröller-Müller Museum (1917) and The Hague's museum which was completed in 1935.

BOSCH, Jacob van den (1868-1948)

A famous Dutch furniture designer and interior designer. His minimalistic furniture allows the material (which is often oak) to really stand out. Mortise and tenon joints serve as both decorative and constructive elements in his work.

BUGATTI, Carlo (1856-1940)

Bugatti was an Italian furniture designer. Around 1890, he set up a furniture workshop in Milan and Paris. His pieces are based on African art and they usually have cubistic shapes. In 1904, he left his workshop and went to Paris where he started designing jewellery, utensils and silverware. He also worked as a painter. Bugatti got several awards (London 1888, Paris 1900 and Turin 1902).

DOESBURG, Theo van (1883-1931)

He was the founder of the Dutch artistic group De Stijl (The Style), whose followers were a mix of architects, painters, sculptors and writers. The principles of the art movement were aimed at pure horizontal and vertical lines. The combined use of primary colours and black and white had to be well-balanced. Diagonal lines were introduced into De Stijl in 1924.

GALLÉ, Emile (1846-1904)

French glass artist, ceramist and furniture designer. He started working at his father's art company when he was very young. Later in life he studied philosophy, zoology and botany. From 1864 to 1866 he went to a private art school in Weimar. His stay in Paris and London introduced him to Japanese art and this caused a permanent change in his work. In 1874, he became the artistic leader of his father's company. The furniture workshop had already flourished into a factory in 1886. He founded the famous Ecole de Nancy in 1901. Gallé is famous for his refined furniture that displays naturally shaped intarsia and marquetry which were usually executed in exotic woods.

GAUDI, Antonio ( 1852-1926)

Spanish architect and decorative artist. He was put in charge of a construction company that was building Sagrada Familia. He created a garden city for his friend Eusebio Güell which is nowadays called 'Parc Güell'. Gaudi strived to create architecture that became an organic part of nature. Architecture, furniture and other artistic objects by Gaudi all show abstract shapes. He is also famous for his colourful mosaics.
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