Thursday, 12 July 2012

Nancy - more architectural delights in Saurupt

Lillian :  In our last we showed you lots of photos of the splendid Art Nouveau homes in Saurupt.  This suburb of Nancy was originally planned as a rather exclusive almost "gated community" of beautiful villas designed by members of the École de Nancy.

It didn't quite work out and only 6 such villas were built in 6 years - most of the town-houses and homes in the area were built later and some are delightful examples of the Art Deco style.  Our people are very fond of architectural detail - so they took plenty of photos.

Audrey :  This house was my favourite - "Villa des Colombes" (doves)  it has everything - balconies, lead-light windows, a great garden and the sweetest tower, straight out of a fairy-tale!

Lillian :  In the complex layout - with the tower and that really complicated roof, this villa is very like the École de Nancy (Art Nouveau) ones we showed in the last post.  

However, the decoration is very Art Deco.  We tend to think of the 2 "Art" styles as quite separate but in fashion & architecture (perhaps in other areas too) they sometimes blend, one into the other.

  Audrey : Lots of Colombes on the gorgeous tower -

Quite Art Deco

And see the pair of love doves in the ironwork balustrade on the balcony?
Audrey :  We saw this Art Deco bird balcony on another home -
 and can you see the birdies in this lovely lead-light window?


Lillian :  Here is some coloured glass-work & iron work together - a lovely Art Deco entrance door.

Audrey :  And another, from another building -

it was quite imposing with pillars and lots of Art Deco detailing.

Lillian :  The ironwork had curly clouds and lots of strong angles.

Masonry detailing included massed flowers under the balconies and... 
 Some very Art Deco motifs on the corner tower.

Here is the "signature" on this building -  Masson 1930.

Audrey :  Monsieur Masson must've been busy, we found his name on lots of buildings.  This is dated 1928 with a popular motif of pine cones.

Lillian : Ah - Charles Masson, he was the brother-in-law of Eugène Corbin.  Remember that amazing Salle a manger (dining room) in the Museum?  {some photos in this post} well, it was designed for & Monsieur Masson's own home.

Audrey : All those creative people in Nancy knew each other & worked for and with each other.  What can we find out about this busy Architect?  Monsieur Pain, I mean, was he one?
Lillian :  Now don't be naughty "pain" is not the same word in French.
Audrey :  I know, it means "bread"  (very strange if you ask me!)  Tell us about Mr Bread.
Lillian :  {sigh}  César Pain, best known for a row of houses along Rue Felix-Faure. Les Clematites and La Tatiana are decorated with pretty, floral Art Nouveau sgraffito.  We found his name on this building 
Decorated with ceramic tiles in a 'piano key' design ... and we found this on several homes.


Audrey :  Lovely window and is that some fading sgraffito under the eaves?
Lillian :  Let's see more architectural curves ...  A wonderful doorway in the shape of a Capital P


and here is a short round tower ...

Audrey :  Can you see the wonderful little waterspout?  Here it is in close-up
Lillian :  Our last building from Saurupt must have been built as a Chemist's
The lovely doorway (shuttered on the Sunday we were there) flanked by foxgloves.
Audrey :  Any reason for the foxgloves?  apart from their being really pretty and tall - so they fit that space very well. 
Lillian :  Well, perhaps the botanical name gives you a hint, Digitalis.  The digitalin heart medicines were made from foxglove plants.

 Lillian :  In our next post I think we'll move away from architectural details, what do you think Audrey?
Audrey :  Good idea, we haven't posted any photos of us dollies for a long time. 


  1. Heya¡­my very first comment on your site. ,I have been reading your blog for a while and thought I would completely pop in and drop a friendly note. . It is great stuff indeed. I also wanted to there a way to subscribe to your site via email?

    Beautiful villas

  2. Hello and thank you :-)

    I'm not sure about subscribing via email - I'm not very "Blog Literate" there is a "subscribe" but it seems to be attached to individual posts - not to the Blog as a whole. You can "Follow" of course - and that is down the bottom of the page - in the Brown part. :-)