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Old 01-16-2002, 05:08 PM   #1
Estelyn Telcontar
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Silmaril Art nouveau - Elves' Architecture and Design

Is there anybody else out there who was absolutely delighted with the art nouveau elements seen in Rivendell and Lothlorien? I admit, I'm particularly partial to art nouveau - it's my favorite design style. But trying very hard to be objective, I think it was completely perfect for the elves and their life-style. The basic elements are natural - flowers, trees, leaves etc. - yet they are formal, stylized, very graceful and elegant. And the elves themselves, especially the females (Galadriel, Arwen et al), could be straight from an early 20th century print - tall, almost boyishly slender, long rippling hair.<BR>Considering that Tolkien was in his youth at that time, I think it's very possible that he had that style in the back of his mind while describing elves and their surroundings. Art nouveau is timeless, unaging beauty - like the elves themselves.
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Old 01-16-2002, 10:35 PM   #2
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Take a look at the door to Moria. That is pure Tolkien design there.<P>I think that the elvish art, created for the movie, certainly has an art nouveau flair (if I actually understand it, that is!). There are clear celtic influences, I think. And some of the elvish swords and robes have an oriental feel.
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Old 01-17-2002, 04:21 AM   #3
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Well I don't know anything about architecture styles and all that, but it was perfect for the Elves, I thought.
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Old 01-18-2002, 01:35 AM   #4
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Yes, I love Art Nouveau and it is perfect for Elves. It always takes nature as its source - never overdone - simple and elegant - no excess of detail - use of natural materials - ornament is in the choice and mixing of materials. And of course Arts and Crafts is right up their alley. No mass production for them!<P>Even the jewellery such as the Lorien leaf clasps for the cloaks and Arwen's necklace had those organic, natural, sinuous Art Nouveau lines. And Arwen's and Galadriel's dresses and hairstyles were rather Pre-Raphaelite.<P>An Aside:<BR>I need to see the movie again for another glimpse of Minas Tirith. But it looked like a combination of Romanesque and Gothic to me. The towers with the columns supporting rounded vaults - all in white - of course.<p>[ January 18, 2002: Message edited by: Lostgaeriel ]
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Old 01-18-2002, 04:34 AM   #5
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Rivendell was definetly my favourite setting in the movie, but my favourite thing wasn't the architect (which was very good and decorative) but the trees around it that some looked as if they were in Autumn and some looked like they were in Spring.
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Old 01-18-2002, 02:40 PM   #6
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I liked Lothlórien quite a bit, and while I liked the Rivendell exteriors and the setting in general, I personally would have gone a different direction on the interiors. Arts and Crafts is right on the money, Lostgaeriel! I would have liked to have seen more wood and less marble; more of the orange glow of friendly fires and less of the soft-focus, glowing, heavenly white light. Also, all of the sculpture didn't seem to fit with Elvishness for me. As I mentioned in another thread, sculpture seems more of a Mannish art -- sort of an imitation of immortality which the Elves do not require. Still, I'd prefer the movie Rivendell to my aesthetic-free 70's era apartment.
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Old 01-24-2002, 10:32 PM   #7
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I agree that the statues looked a little out of place at Rivendell. But that was also my favorite spot in the movie. What I really liked was the way that they just kind of melded the buildings into the forest and the surrounding landscape.
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