Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Applique on wool by Armas Eliel Lindgren

Liturgical vestment (detail), 1904. 185 x 189 cm. Taideteollisuumuseo, Helsinki.

This Art Nouveau piece has such interesting subject matter. Used in a religious setting, this cloth has what looks like a heart or root of some kind at the top, encased in lines of thorns with a set of 'bulbs' or circles off to the side and blooming flowers at the bottom followed by drops of blood. Very symbolic of Christ's crown of thorns and blood of his body, etc. It is beautifully translated into a visual metaphor.

Armas Lindgren born 1874- 1929, Finnish architect. A famed architect with the firm Gesellius, Lindgren & Saarinen, known as GLS. The international fame of the 3 architects was based on the Finnish Pavilion which they designed for the Paris World Expo of 1900. In 1905 Lindgren left the firm to work with Wivi Lonn, one of Finland's first woman architects. GLS was dissolved in 1907. Lindgren chiefly built private houses and churches. The works which he designed in collaboration with Gesellius and Saarinen include the Villa Suur-Merijoki in Viipuri (1903) and the "fortified" Hvittorp House in Kirkkonummi (1901-04). (Gabriele Fahr-Becker)

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