Art Nouveau

Rua Galeria de Paris
Photo:  Município do PortoCC BY-NC-SA - Some Rights Reserved

This style did not have many followers in Portugal. National artists and architects of this time were not involved exclusively in this movement. However, there is a regeneration in the field of decorative arts, which interferes occasionally in architecture. Art Nouveau in Portugal appears as an interpretation of the French model, applied to the characteristics of the national art.

Porto does not have many Art Nouveau examples. The most significant buildings are No. 22, Rua Galeria de Paris, all in stone, with a big Chinese-style window that recalls the creations of the French architect Hankar, and buildings No. 75 and 79, Rua Cândido dos Reis, with large metallic revetments probably influenced by the work of Victor Horta.

Iron is an architectonic manifestation of Art Nouveau and it will be seen as a model of the language of that time. This material is widely used in the Palácio de Cristal, built by the English Thomas Dillen Jones in 1865. The Mercado Ferreira Borges, an iron building of 1885, is a national rarity because of its specific urban role. Iron turned out to easily agree with the landscape. It was used quite well in the bridges of Porto: D. Maria Bridge, a 1876 project by Gustave Eiffel, and D. Luis Bridge, planned by Seyrig in 1886. The suited association of iron and glass created an effect of exquisite delicacy which is present, for instance, in the Pátio das Nações of the Palácio da Bolsa, a work by Tomás Soller (1891) and in the São Bento Railway Station, inaugurated in 1903 and planned by Marques da Silva.

Published 10-09-2013
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