Art Nouveau

Natasha Head By Natasha Head, 11th Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Art>Forms & Genres

In response to the mass produced goods of the industrial revolution, the decorative artists of the time desired to see their work elevated to the status of fine art. It was in this fashion that the style of art nouveau was born.

The History of Art Nouveau

The term Art Nouveau, first appeared in Brussels in 1884. It was used in reference to the Belgium artists group, Les XX, but would soon be a phrase that would be used to describe an entire movement in art history. It was a movement that would reign supreme in European and North American urban centers for a decade.

In response to the Industrial Revolution, there were a great many artists who shared a common desire to elevate the decorative arts to the level of fine art. The artists would accomplish this by applying the highest degree of craftsmanship to the everyday mundane. This was a statement being made to stand against the mass produced, machine made goods that had become a staple of a generation.

Their creations and works would come to include buildings, furniture, fashion, jewelry, glassware, home décor, and even advertising campaigns. Art Nouveau designers believed that all art should work together in harmony to promote the whole.

It was in 1896, in Paris, that the Maison de l’Art Nouveau opened its doors. The interior design gallery would host many works that well characterized the Art Nouveau movement. The curvilinear depiction of leaves and flowers, often in the form of vines, were easily spotted and would dominate the movement in forms such as wood, wrought iron, glass as well as canvass and print.

It was at the Paris World’s Fair in 1900 that the art style was finally given its well deserved recognition. It was during this exhibition that it would establish itself as the new decorative style of the 20th century. It was Art Nouveau that would open the doors to other such modernist styles, including Art Deco which would follow closely behind.

Some of the more prominent artists of the era include; Gustave Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, Henri de Taulouse-Lautrec, Aubrey Beardsley, Antonio Gaudi, and Hector Guimard.

American, Louis Comfort Tiffany would, after decorating a suite of rooms for the White House, become the most sought after decorative artist in New York City. Born in 1848 as the son of an influential New York jeweler, Tiffany’s work would grow from canvass to include all forms popularized by the Art Nouveau movement, most famously his stained glass pieces.

The Art Nouveau movement was not exclusive to Paris and New York. It was known by many names, in many countries. In Germany it was referred to as Jugendstil. In Italy, it would come to be known as Stile Liberty. In Austria it was referred to as Sezession and in Spain it was called Modemista or Modemismo.

For a brief and fantastic moment, Art Nouveau would dominate as the style of an era. From Europe to North America, its influence would impact many urban centers, where today, it can still be found. It would be 1900 when interest in the style would begin to wane, making way for the mathematical and geometric designs of the Art Deco movement and similar modernist styles.


Art Forms, Art History, Art Nouveau, Art Nouveau Style, Art Styles, History Of Art Nouveau

Meet the author

author avatar Natasha Head
Born into a real estate family, Natasha has been a licensed real estate agent since 1993. She has penned many works based on her experience, and enjoys freelancing as well. She has a keen interest in arts, music and spirituality, and enjoys the opp...(more)

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author avatar Jerry Walch
11th Aug 2010 (#)

Another nice piece Natasha. Art is really my wife's interest but i enjoy a well written article no matter what the subject matter.

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author avatar Natasha Head
11th Aug 2010 (#)

Thanks for reading Jerry! Your time is appreciated!!

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author avatar Retired
23rd Dec 2010 (#)

very nice

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