Monday, 2 April 2012

Nancy - Art Nouveau Buildings - The Banks

Audrey :  There are so many wonderful examples of Art Nouveau architecture in Nancy that is difficult to decide how to divide up all our photographs.

Lillian :  Several buildings, and some of the more famous ones, are banks - so let us show you those in this post. 

This is known as the Banque Renauld - it is on the corner of rue Chanzy & rue St Jean & was built in 1910.  

Emile André designed furniture & a lot of buildings in Nancy.

Audrey : Those are ginkgo leaves on the metal band and this is at the entrance on the corner, under the tower.   Isn't it a wonderful tower? Perfect for a princess.

Lillian :  The finial is a stylised thistle.  The prickly thistle is one of Nancy's symbols; it is on their coat of arms and the city's motto is 
'Non inultus premor’ Latin for ‘No one touches me with impunity'.  

Audrey :  Ouch! 


Audrey : Under the tower there are lots of pretty flowers.  Curling fern fronds and apple blossom. 

Lillian : And here are the apples; the fruit ... there must be some analogy in that for a bank.

Audrey : The stone balconies are nice and solid looking.


Lillian : Whereas the iron-work balconies are really delicate - these are below the tower

and this, with the pine cones, is on the side of the building.

 Audrey : More lovely pine tree motifs on a door grille - and in stone.


Audrey :  So much lovely botany on that bank building.  This was a shop, it is now a bank and is just round the corner from Place Stan.



Lillian :  It was the Magasin Goudchaux, built in 1907 by Eugène Vallin.
In le musée de l'École de Nancy there is a beautiful bureau by Vallin - and the carving on that desk is almost identical to this.  
 That plant is a favourite botanical motif of the École de Nancy - they called it l'ombelle.  It could be Angelica, or the related & quite dangerous Giant Hogweed

Audrey : More flowers - this time in glass.

Lillian : The Crédit Lyonnais building (rue Saint Georges) has 230 square metres of gorgeous stained glass ceiling by Jacques Gruber
CL for Crédit Lyonnais


The Central panel is mostly lemon with blues.  
At the end of the center panel

The curving sides of this ceiling are in pretty soft mauve glass with blue clematis.

Audrey : And here is Monsieur Gruber's signature - 1920.  Although the ceiling dominates with its utter gorgeousness - the rest of the bank is also quite attractive.  Here is a peep.

Lillian :  Our last building for this post was not built as a bank - it gets called the Immeuble du Dr Aimé
and was built in 1903 by Georges Biet &  Eugène Vallin.

Audrey : Monsieur Vallin again?  he must have been a very busy gentleman.  But don't you think that the rez de chaussée of this building looks like a face?
Lillian : Or perhaps like a moth's wings?  Like many Art Nouveau buildings, the details are slightly different on each level - the 1st floor has this fabulous ironwork with curling tendrils ...

The next level gets flowers ...

then, right up the top, under the roof, there is an exposed ironwork arch - looking rather like part of a bridge.

Audrey : Let's leave this post with one more photo of that lovely stained glass ceiling.  Perhaps in our next post we'll show you photos of more stained glass & lead light windows that we saw in Nancy.

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