• Exhibition

Art nouveau en La Chaux-de-Fonds

In the effervescence of the late 19th century, Art Nouveau also flourished in La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland). Many buildings constructed in the early 20th century incorporated Art Nouveau elements. Curved forms of French or Belgian Art Nouveau meet the more geometric shapes inspired by German or Viennese Jugendstil: this is the Sapin or fir tree style.

Destroyed by fire in 1794, La Chaux-de-Fonds is a town that turned to the watchmaking industry in the 19th century and developed strongly along a checkerboard urban plan. This specificity of its urban ensemble, built by and for the watchmaking industry, has been inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List since 2009.

The production period for the Style Sapin objects and works of art is short. Less than ten years separate the beginnings of the Cours Supérieur d'Art et de Décoration from the outbreak of the First World War. While it's impossible to know precisely the entire artistic output of the period, some objects have been rediscovered. Such is the case of five monumental stained-glass windows created by Jules Courvoisier for the Cernier-Fontainemelon chapel in 1907. Missing when the chapel was remodeled in the 1970s, they were rediscovered in early 2022 and joined the collections of the Musée des beaux-arts. This collection will soon be displayed and installed in a chapel open to the public near the Crematorium.

The Villa Fallet is a manifesto of the Style Sapin, a practical implementation of Charles L'Eplattenier's courses, who wished to integrate this new ornamental vocabulary into domestic architecture, and not just into the decoration of watch cases. The house was designed by a group of students from the Cours supérieur d'art et de décoration. The plans were drawn up by Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, the future Le Corbusier, under the direction of architect René Chapallaz. All the ornamentation is based on the fir tree motif, allowing for a wide range of decorative interventions and experiments. Wrought ironwork, woodwork, stonework and sgraffito make the Villa Fallet a total work of art, testifying to the encounter between the Heimatstil and the fir style.

Sylvie Pipoz, ambtenaar erfgoedontwikkeling van de stad La-Chaux-de-Fonds

More info

  • Date:26/09/2023 au 26/11/2023
  • Time:10:00 - 18:00
  • Cost:Gratuit comme toujours :)