Modern Decorative Art

The second section of the museum is dedicated to Art Nouveau, which became popular in Europe and the United States between 1890 and the end of the First World War. Decorative style par excellence, Art Nouveau had certain universally shared characteristics but with traits particular to each nation. The Wolfsoniana proposes a partial reconstruction of the sitting room created by Luigi Fontana & Co. of Milan from around 1902. This interior represents an interesting example of Italian “Liberty” style with extremely sinuous lines and a very original use of glass and mirrors. It has much in common with its French and Belgian counterparts.

There are also works from outside Italy, particularly from Central Europe, such as the cupboard by the Austrian Joseph Maria Olbrich, and the studio by the Hungarian Ödön Faragó, presented at the Exposition of Modern Decorative Art in Turin in 1902, the wonderfully inlaid chest of drawers by Leopold Bauer, and some office furniture attributed to the Catalan Gaspar Homar. The Medusa stained glass window by the Vetrate Artistiche G. Beltrami of Milan was also exhibited at the Turin exposition in 1902.

The panorama is completed by a number of paintings and sculptures drawing on the same stylistic and cultural atmosphere: plaster sculptures by Leonardo Bistolfi and Giacomo Cometti, a bas relief by Edoardo De Albertis, and the canvases of Galileo Chini and Giuseppe Cominetti.