Musée d'Orsay: Marcel Kammerer Wiesler Hotel in Graz, Austria

Marcel Kammerer
Wiesler Hotel in Graz, Austria

Wiesler Hotel in Graz, Austria, Banquet Hall
Marcel Kammerer (1878-1969)
Wiesler Hotel in Graz, Austria, Banquet Hall
Pencil, pen and ink, water colour and gouache on tracing paper
H. 37.8; W. 31.2 cm
© DR - RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Grand hôtel Wiesler à Graz (Autriche), salle des fêtes [Wiesler Hotel in Graz, Austria, Banquet Hall]

This drawing shows the entrance to the reception room, or banquet hall, in the Wiesler Hotel in Graz, Austria, refurbished in two phases by the architect and interior designer Marcel Kammerer. Kammerer studied under, and then worked with, Otto Wagner, a Viennese artist who started the Secessionist movement, but he also trained as a painter and is mainly known for his many publications of drawings. The Wiesler Hotel was installed in 1903-1904 in a Renaissance building and then extended in 1906-1909. The second commission gave Kammerer an opportunity to create a coherent ensemble by designing the interior as well as the furniture of the hotel. However the architect's style had changed since the 1903 commission. He had left the fantasy and linearity of Art Nouveau behind him and moved on to a more refined and stylised decorative vocabulary. The poetic and the functional had to meet up. The marble slabs along the walls of this room are punctuated by grids hiding the heating system. Above them, large rectangular panels of fabric forming piers alternate with decorative vertical bands. The repetitive motifs are geometrical and sober. The pattern on the panels is repeated on the chairs, as can be seen in contemporary photographs. The only curves are on the light fittings hanging from the panelled ceiling, on the woman holding the handle of the door, dressed in a long elegant gown, with roses in her hand and on her earrings, and in the relief decoration which can be made out on the left, a Venus emerging from a shell floating on the waves.

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