(b. 1846, København, d. 1908, København)


Danish architect and designer, son of Michael Gottlieb Bindesbøll. Having finished his studies at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi, Copenhagen, in 1876, he travelled to Italy in 1882 and 1897. His modest architectural career began with two historicizing manor houses in southern Sweden, Hjuleberg (1875) and Mostrop (1880). The well-proportioned red-brick institution, Bombebøssen (1891), in Christianhavn, Copenhagen, is an example of classical simplicity, while the house built for Georg Bestle (wine dealer and titular councillor of state) in 1897 in Vedbæk, Zealand, is in the 17th-century revival white-plastered mansion-style, popular during this period. About 1900, the easy curves of the Art Nouveau style began to appear in his work, including his decorations (1905-07) on Skagen Fish Warehouses, which were also influenced by old Norse architecture. He also produced monuments and designs for fountains.

Bindesbøll's chief achievement was the rejuvenation of the Danish applied and decorative arts. The fine vigorous lines of his decorative work were applied with inexhaustible variety to every sphere of design and all types of interior. The best of his Art Nouveau designs were pioneer works, forerunners of much 20th-century abstract art. Most noteworthy were his ceramics, inspired by Italian sgraffito techniques and produced between 1883 and 1906. His style developed from classical neatness through the vogue for Japanese motifs towards liberated, asymmetrical and forceful abstraction, often characterized by tautly rounded and hard-edged contrasting forms.

He produced book designs and other graphic work from the 1880s, and the clean lines of his labels for Carlsberg Pilsner (1897-1904) became world-famous. At the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900, his silverware received international recognition. From about 1890, he designed furniture in three distinct styles: he continued to work in the style of his father; he revived traditional Danish designs; he created Art Nouveau pieces covered with metal inlay or upholstery based on the embroidery designs of his childhood.