What Is Art Nouveau?

What Is Art Nouveau?

Origins & Context

Art Nouveau was named after a Parisian store (Maison de l’Art Nouveau), which opened in 1895, nevertheless the type outlined within the historical past books came about between 1900 and 1914.

Life at the moment, simply earlier than the Great War, was easier; a horse-drawn carriage was nonetheless the primary mode of transport and bicycling the most recent craze; most ladies did not work although all households had home assist; electrical energy and telephones have been accessible however TV and radio weren’t – the gramophone offered the in-house media leisure. And for many who may afford it, the house was adorned within the newest type – Art Nouveau.

Two Styles in One

The work of the Art Nouveau interval – Horta’s Paris Metro signal, Toulouse Lautrec & Klimt’s artwork, Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings, Gaudi’s mosaics – splits clearly into two types. However, regardless of wanting worlds aside, their essence got here from the identical place – specifically it was natural.


In France, Belgium, Italy and Spain, the Art Nouveau type was curvilinear – every part appeared as if it could get up and develop as quickly as you left the room.

Horta’s Metro sign up Paris superbly represents the curvilinear Art Nouveau type – its natural swirls within the lettering depicting nature and development. The concept of rising from seed to stem to plant might be seen within the flowing traces of many items of furnishings and ornamental gadgets of this era. Furniture appeared prefer it was rising naturally – handles made to seem like tendrils; corners and fronts of cupboard adorned in foliage and balustrades twisted and turned to depict vines.


Glasswork additionally superbly represented the pure shapes of the type and Emile Gall and Tiffany produced some sleek and decorative items – lamps, bowls, vases in addition to glass items designed for furnishings. Furniture and equipment alike bloomed with emblems from nature – butterflies, grasses, birds and flowers.

Art & Jewellery

In the artwork world the works of Mucha, Cheret, Toulouse-Lautrec and Gustav Klimt dominated the interval. Long flowing hair, entwined lovers kissing and exquisite ladies have been their topics. In jewelry, the identical natural shapes could possibly be seen; necklaces of flower trails; brooches depicting sirens – there was a way of poetry and romanticism in each piece.


In Germany, Austria and Britain, nevertheless, the Art Nouveau type was distinctly rectilinear – with well-defined traces surrounding even probably the most delicate of ornament.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

The work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh – the long-lasting rose framed between robust black traces, the excessive backed chairs and industrial home windows have been trademark items and the Hill House in Helensburgh, simply outdoors Glasgow, epitomises his residential inside type.

Fitted furnishings

The furnishings was particularly designed to suit the inside (one thing unprecedented till then), which might have included built-in window seats, cabinets, settles and bookcases constituted of woods equivalent to cherry, walnut, mahogany, satinwood and light-weight oak.


The colors from this era have been peacock blue, turquoise, emerald inexperienced, pale lilac, black and silver, white and pink. They have been used collectively to type an ethereal look to partitions and fairly psychedelic results within the glasswork.


The Art Nouveau type remains to be very a lot in proof significantly in Barcelona in Gaudi’s work at Casa Batllo and Casa Mila, in addition to his unfinished cathedral. In Brussels the type might be seen on the Hotel Solvay and in Paris at Maxim’s and the Vagenode Restaurant. Visit Glasgow and revel in a trendy cup of tea within the well-known Willow tearooms designed by Mackintosh and his spouse Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh.

Source by Niki Schafer

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