Art Nouveau is
an international style of art, architecture and design that peaked in
popularity at the beginning of the 20th century (1880-1914) and is
characterized by highly-stylised, flowing, curvilinear designs often
incorporating floral and other plant-inspired motifs. Art Nouveau was
a concerted attempt to create an international style based on
decoration. It was developed by a brilliant and energetic generation
of artists and designers, who sought to fashion an art form
appropriate to the modern age.
word, 'Art Nouveau (New Art),' is all about integrating art with
life. This international art movement got its ticket from a gallery
for interior designing, "La Maison de I'Art Nouveau,"
opened in Paris, in 1896. Organic, floral, & the other ornamental
themes, as well as highly majestic, flowing curved forms, outlined
the creative horizons of 'Art Nouveau' movement. The artists in the
field, worked with the focus of unifying major & minor arts with
humanity & life.
had several expression formats, such as stone front walls, ceramics,
forged iron, and interiors with curved walls, all this mostly
supplemented with lavish ornamentation. While some 'Nouveau' artists,
designers, & architects drew inspiration from new technologies
& lifestyles, some secluded themselves to past, embracing the
spirit world, fantasy, and myth.
strongly influenced the world, climaxing during 1890 to 1905.
Interestingly, the movement was termed differently throughout Europe
and the world at large. It was called 'Jugenstil' in Germany, 'Yellow
Book Style' in England, 'Stile Liberty'
in Italy, 'Modernista' in Spain, 'Sezessionstil' in Austria, and 'Tiffany
Style' in the United States. These names are closely associated
vis-à-vis the essence of 'Art Nouveau's' creative forms, the
practitioners & their works, varied schools of thought, as well
as the locations, the movement gained fame at, while sharing common aesthetics.
Some of the
legendary contributors to the movement include Hector Guimard
(France), Antonio Gaudi (Spain), Gustav Klimt (Austria), Alphonse
Mucha (Czechoslovakia), Henri de Touslouse-Lautrec (France), Aubrey
Beardsley (Britain), Victor Horta (Belgium), Charles Rennie
Mackintosh (Scotland), Marc Klinger (Germany), Odon Lechner
(Hungary), Ernesto Basile (Italy), Eliel Saarinen (Finalnd), and
Louis Comfort Tiffany (America). "The Villa Schutzenberg,"
Strasbourg, England; the "Secession Building," Vienna;
"Museum of Applied Arts," Budapest; "Casa Batlo,"
Spain, "Hotel Pariz" & "Jublee Synagogue,"
Czech, "Victorian Arts Society" & "Melbourne
Sports Depot," Australia, and "Yaroslavsky Rail
Terminal," Russia are some of the finest examples of 'Art
Nouveau.' Other platforms exploited for the movement include posters,
labels, advertisement, magazines, glass art, and jewelry.
Throughout its stay,
'Art Nouveau' underwent several creative tensions due to its
decorative and modern elements, linking eventually to the 'Symbolist'
era. The art & craft flavor of 'Art Nouveau' movement started
fading away as the 'Modernism' of the twentieth century started
occupying the creative edges. Irrespective of a bumpy span, 'Art
Nouveau' definitely remains the crucial bridge between the
revolutionary art movements, 'Neoclassicism'.
And one of the
famous architect of the movement is Antoni Gaudi, and still
celebrated today for his eccentric buildings in Barcelona. Gaudi was
a man of simple ideas and common sense. In his architecture it fuses
structure and decoration. He clearly accepted nature as his guide.
His interest in nature was in three dimensional forms, rather than in
two dimensional and he was interested primarily in nature's inner
forces, which expressed themselves on the surface. He took the style
to new heights, never making a straight line where a wavy one could
do the job. His crowning glory was the city cathedral, left
unfinished at the time of his death.
Mackintosh was one of the leading exponents and a designer from
Glasgow in Scotland. He brought his distinctive ideas to buildings,
furniture and jewelry. Examples of his work are held in museums and
his jewelry is constantly copied and sold. The French designer Rene
Lalique was also a jewelry maker
in the Art Noveau style and he also became famous for his work in
artists in the genre remain popular today and none more so than
Gustav Klimt. The Austrian specialized in the female figure in
paintings, drawings and murals. Some of his paintings have sold for
extremely high prices and his work is mass produced in the form of
prints, posters and furnishings. Aubrey Beardsley, an English artist
and illustrator, is also still popular today. He is mostly known for
his posters, drawn in ink and sometimes depicting controversial images.
By the time
when the world War 1 was begin, the movement was fade. Times were
hard and less expensive materials were favored. A more modernist and
less fussy design style came into favor, culminating in the Art Deco
movement that would dominate through the 1920s and 1930s. There does
remain, however, a nostalgic affection for Art
and the many expressive people caught up in it in art
such as art nouveau engagement