Fireplace and Chimney Piece
Fireplace and Chimney Piece
Fireplace and Chimney Piece
Fireplace and Chimney Piece
Fireplace and Chimney Piece
Fireplace and Chimney Piece
Fireplace and Chimney Piece
Fireplace and Chimney Piece
Fireplace and Chimney Piece

This monumental fireplace and chimney piece were designed by Hector Guimard for a house commissioned by Louis Coilliot, a manufacturer of ceramic blocks and tiles. Coilliot gave Guimard his first opportunity to design a fully integrated architectural composition. The fireplace is made of enameled stoneware fashioned from reconstituted lava, one of Coilliot's specialties. In its original setting, as an element of the Art Nouveau design philosophy known as Gesamtkunstwerk (unified work of art), the fireplace stood within an arch formed by the stalk-like elements of an elaborate pear wood buffet. The arch motif was repeated in the central portion of the fireplace. The flanking vestigial piers have flattened capitals that echoed the buffet's flat shelves. Although the Maison Coilliot still stands, most of its furnishings, including this fireplace, were sold at auction in the early 1990s and early 2000s.Top part-- H: 26 3/4 in. W: 23 1/2 in. D: 10 3/4 in. Bottom legs-- H: 48 in. W: 18 3/4 in. D:23 3/4 in. Base lip-- W: 55in. Total height: 74 3/4 in.

About Hector Guimard

The designer of several Metro stations in fin de siècle Paris, Hector Guimard created one of the quintessential documents of French Art Noveau and remains the movement’s best-known proponent. Like his peers, Guimard rejected the domineering historicism in architecture and design, seeking to create a thoroughly modern style. His iconic Metro station gates are characterized by their organic, unfurling forms, produced affordably for the masses. The unity of composition was essential for Guimard and his Art Noveau peers, evinced by the attention to function, design, materials, and smaller details like character font. Although many of Guimard’s major civic works—including many of his Metro stations—were destroyed following his decline in popularity, renewed interest in his oeuvre in the 1960s prompted an increase in scholarship and preservation of his remaining work.

French, 1867-1942, Lyon, France

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2014