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.

he French 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.

'Art Nouveau' 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.

'Art Nouveau' 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.

Charles Rennie 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 JEWELRY making.

Well, many 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 Nouveau Jewelry and the many expressive people caught up in it in art nouveau jewelry such as art nouveau engagement rings with ruby, emerald, sapphire and diamond.