Olga Wisinger-Florian was an Austrian painter, mainly of landscapes and still lifes. She was a representative of Stimmungsimpressionismus (Mood Impressionism), a loose Austrian school of Impressionism that was considered avant-garde in the 1870s and 1880s.
Guimard’s style is dominated by long, sinuous lines that swoop and whiplash in complex, asymetrical designs. Influenced like most Art Nouveau designers by natural forms, Guimard was inspired primarily by the graceful forms of stems, stalks, and roots. This sets him apart from many other French designers, who usually took insipiration from leaves and flowers. Animal-like forms are uncommon, but when Guimard did draw from them, he favored insect forms. Guimard’s designs border on the complete abstract, which shows the influence of the Belgian Art Nouveau designers, especially Victor Horta, whom Guimard was known to admire.
Guimard’s designs frequently have an airy, light feel, with parts seeming almost to float, but its often tangled designs and attenuated swooping forms give it also a sense of nervousness and fluidity. One’s eyes are often constantly in motion tracing the designs, and the frequent lack of symmetry and visible balance also give the works a sense of instability. Guimard’s work reflect one aspect of Art Nouveau, the idea to convey a sense of nature in his interiors. His work remind one of organic growth, despite the lack of visible structure, and have a sense of life, movement, and vitality. His pieces also take advantage of their material, whether it be the ductile quality of bronze and gold to the supple quality of pear wood, which he favored. In terms of liveliness, his style is incomparable, and his work still dazzles today both with their delicacy and powerful energy.
Princess Maria Amélia de Bragança, daughter of Emperor Dom Pedro I of Brazil and Amélie von Leuchtenberg by Friedrich Dürck, 1849.
In 1852, Maria Amélia fell in love with her cousin, Austrian Archduke Maximilian. Their engagement was never officially announced and soon after she contracted tuberculosis, dying in 1853 at the tender age of 22. Archduke Maximilian went on the become the ill-fated Emperor Maximilian the I of Mexico.
But that wasn’t the end of Maria Amélia’s story. Maximilian continued to cherish her memory until his death in 1867. In a last homage to his dead fiancee, as he was being stripped of his belongings to face the revolutionary firing squad, Maximilian tenderly removed from around his neck a small religious medallion Maria Amélia had given him so many years ago and asked that it to be sent to her mother for safekeeping.