Art Nouveau and Art Deco History

Art Nouveau and Art Deco History

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Art Nouveau was an art and design movement that grew out of the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th Century. Art Nouveau highlighted curvaceous lines, often inspired by plants and flowers, as well as geometric patterns. Art Deco was a sprawling design sensibility that wound its way through numerous early 20th Century art and design forms, from fine art and architecture to fashion and furniture, as well as everyday appliances and even modes of transportation.


The Arts and Crafts movement, a precursor to Art Nouveau, focused on hand craftsmanship in the decorative arts and was personified by influential textile designer William Morris.

In Art Nouveau, the style of an object is not predetermined and imposed but developed organically through the process of creation, an idea derived from Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Mackintosh believed style came from function, and structures should be built from the inside out. One of his best-known buildings is the Glasgow School of Art, finished in 1910.

Art Nouveau was embraced by architects through the use of curves, iron and glass in designs. The result was buildings like Antoni Gaudí’s sinuous, organic Casa Battló in Barcelona, Spain, completed in 1906.


Mackintosh’s ideas had a significant effect on the visual arts. Austrian painter Gustav Klimt adopted his abstract patterning, indicative of winding plants, as backgrounds for figurative paintings. Illustrator Aubrey Beardsley brought Art Nouveau to book design, illustrating Sir Thomas Mallory’s La Mort d’Arthur and serving as art editor of the popular Yellow Book magazine in England.

Posters were the main medium through which Art Nouveau was spread. Czech artist Alphonse Mucha’s images of sultry, glamorous women captured the public imagination. His 1894 poster Gismonda, created for entertainer Sarah Bernhardt, brought him his first huge success.


Art Nouveau featured object designers rather than sculptors. The best-known is Louis Comfort Tiffany, a former painter who created decorative items for his affluent customers.

Tiffany’s chief innovations were with stained glass, which was crucial to the design of his most famous offering, the Tiffany lamp. Tiffany is also known for his jewelry, boxes, clocks and pottery designs. Clara Driscoll, who worked for the Tiffany from 1888 to 1909, designed most of Tiffany’s most famous lamps, as well as many other items for the company.

French vase maker Emelie Galle formed the influential “Ecole de Nancy” in his hometown of Nancy, France, with bronze sculptor Louis Majorelle, to gather Art Nouveau masters of various disciplines like furniture design and jewelry-making.

By the end of World War I, Art Nouveau had dissipated as a force in the art world. Modernist movements took its place, most notably Art Deco.


Art Deco was announced to the world in the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris, not as a new movement but one that had been in development for more than a decade.

The exposition was a World’s Fair-styled spectacle lasting six months and covering 57 acres in Paris. A popular show based on the exposition toured the United States the following year.

In 1927, Macy’s department store held an influential Art Deco exhibition highlighting eight architects, including Raymond M. Hood, chief designer of Rockefeller Center, and Joseph Urban, set designer and architect of Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.


The rise of Art Deco coincided with the scramble to erect skyscrapers, and its influence is felt across America.

Designed in 1928, the Chrysler Building is considered one of the most iconic and most ubiquitous examples. The work of architect William Van Alen, its stainless steel spire with a scalloped base make it instantly recognizable.

Art Deco was the design choice for movie theaters of the era, such as Grauman’s Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles and Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Art Deco was also the guiding principle for stylish transportation, such as Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic automobiles, trains like Henry Dreyfuss’ 20th Century Limited and luxury liners like the Queen Mary.

Art Deco permeated people’s personal lives in its effect on furnishings and decorative items. The design works of Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann in furniture, Jean Besnard in pottery, Rene Lalique in glass, Albert-Armand Rateau in metal, Georges Fouquet in jewelry and Serge Gladky in textiles were just a few to have major and lasting impacts.


In the visual arts, Art Deco promoted a sophisticated sensibility. French painter Jean Dupas is well-known for his murals and print advertising. His famous Les Perruches was shown at the 1925 exhibition. Polish painter Tamara de Lempicka was renowned for her portraits of the rich and famous.

Like Art Nouveau, the graphic arts were crucial in embedding Art Deco in the public imagination and defining the culture linked to it. Charles Gesmar is best known for his posters of French entertainer Mistinguett, which gave identity to the Jazz Age. French artist Paul Colin’s posters of Josephine Baker were prime factors in launching Baker’s career. Jean Carlu pulled inspiration from Cubism and gained fame with his poster for Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 film The Kid.

Art Deco also shaped the public view of travel. Ukranian artist Cassandre specialized in transportation posters, most notably his 1935 poster of the French cruise ship Normandie, and is also known for his distinctive advertising work.

Animals were a popular subject among Art Deco artists. Paul Jouve’s paintings and sculptures focused on African animals. Sculptor Francois Pompon’s famous bronze Polar Bear statue debuted at the 1925 exhibition.


Art Deco sculpture frequently found homes in public view. Paul Manship’s most famous work, 1933’s Prometheus, rests in the fountain at Rockefeller Center. Italian-Brazilian sculptor Victor Brecheret found fame with his Monument to the Banderas in Ibirapuera Park in São Paulo, Brazil, which was started in 1921 and completed in 1954.

The imposing, 98-foot tall, 700-ton Christ the Redeemer sculpture on the 2,300-foot peak of Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was designed by French sculptor Paul Landowski, with the face by Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida. The statue was completed in 1931 and can be seen from just about anywhere in the city.

American sculptor Lee Lawrie is one of the most-seen and lesser-known Art Deco artists. His work adorns buildings across the United States—the National Academy of the Sciences in Washington, D.C., the Los Angeles Public Library, the Nebraska State House, Rockefeller Center in New York City and many other locations.

The Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) is also credited for spreading the Art Deco form in the United States with artists like Rockwell Kent, Diego Rivera and Reginald Marsh.


Art Deco was often aligned with the tastes of the wealthy. The 1929 stock market crash redirected the movement towards mass production.

By the early 1930s, an updated Art Deco called Streamline Moderne (or Art Moderne) took hold in America, simplifying designs and, in architecture, focusing on one story structures to better service more common building needs like gas stations and diners. By World War II, Art Deco and Art Nouveau had fallen out of favor and were largely replaced by Modernism.


Modern Art: Impressionism To Post-Modernism. Edited by David Britt.
Art Nouveau. By Jean Lahor.
The Spirit and Splendour of Art Deco. By Alain Lesieutre.
Art Deco. By Victor Arwas.
French Art Deco. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A Brief History of the Art Deco Design Movement

It’s officially the ’20s again, and we’re throwing it back to the Roaring 1920s all week. Whether you love Jazz Age decor, historic homes, or just learning how people lived 100 years ago, we’ve got you covered. Cheers, old chap!

You’ve likely heard the phrase “Art Deco” used here and there—and maybe you think of the Chrysler Building in New York City or the colorful facades on Miami’s Ocean Drive, both major hallmarks of Art Deco architecture. But how exactly did the style—and the name—originate? According to Helaine Fendelman, a fine arts and antiques appraiser, the term “Art Deco” really came into wide use in the middle part of the 20th century, years after the popular decorative style was already in vogue.

But the first time the phrase was ever coined, as far as anyone knows, was at the 1925 Parisian Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes—it’s actually an abbreviation of this legendary art expositions’s name, where pieces in what we’ve come to know as the “Art Deco” style were first introduced. How’s that for some little-known trivia? Since we love learning more about the storied history of some of our favorite design movements, we thought we’d take a deep dive into the origins of Art Deco, the ways in which it lives on today, and how you can make the look work in your home.

When Art Deco design started making waves about a century ago, it came into play as a reaction against the highly stylized Art Nouveau movement. “We were transitioning from an era where so many things were ornate, curvy, and chock full of details,” says Mercedes Austin of Mercury Mosaics. It’s only natural, then, that Art Deco style would streamline things a bit. But Deco certainly wasn’t the same thing as the Bauhaus school, which emerged roughly around the same time and championed the marriage of beauty and utility—and the reconciliation of mass production and artistry.

In contrast to that purism, Art Deco’s unique style was a bit of a contradiction at times—sleek but often hand-crafted forms, rich but not ornate finishes, showy but not overly ornamental shapes. New design materials began to emerge—from chrome and plate glass to luxurious finishes like exotic woods, lacquered surfaces, and shagreen. On the whole, “Furniture and decor started becoming sculptural, mimicking the period’s architectural and interior mainstays of smooth and streamlined surfaces and vertical lines,” says Alessandra Wood, a trend expert at Modsy. “Many new geometric motifs and patterns also became more common, including zigzags, chevrons, starbursts, fans, and circular designs.”

Buildings, interiors, and even products designed in the Art Deco style had a certain exuberance and energy. As the style gained popularity, the look became associated with technology, optimism, and prosperity, says Wood. And that’s no coincidence. “When Art Deco first came into popularity during the early 1920s, the world was in a period of enormous global wealth,” explains interior and furniture designer John Linden. “Both the United States and Europe both had healthy economies, which is reflected in the style.” If you were to look at an Art Deco home or bank lobby, for example, you’d see a lot of metallic materials and busy patterns. “It’s all about excess,” says Linden. “This is why, when we think about Art Deco, we usually associate it with figures like ‘The Great Gatsby’.”

Despite its European origins and presence in American cities, Art Deco still reflected a global influence, since many of the movement’s leading designers and architects had traveled to Japan and elsewhere while serving in World War I. “They brought their inspiration back with them and incorporated elements of those cultures into their work,” says Linden. “Earlier Art Deco work very much resembles Asian and South American design but with a shiny European twist. Later on, it gets more minimal, and we start to see the seeds of mid-century modernism.”

On the whole, the style’s popularity has certainly stood the test of time, maybe because it looked so fundamentally different than what came before it. That said, when the economy took a major downswing due to the Great Depression, the style got subdued a bit. But a little innovation kept the spirit of Art Deco alive for a few more years. “In the 1930s, designers swapped out the handcrafted decor for mass-produced materials,” says Linden. “Things still looked the same, but items were made from far cheaper materials.” That’s why antiques dealers are always on the hunt for Art Deco pieces made during the ’20s—they’re worth more, says Linden, simply because they’re made of more precious materials.

While World War II signaled the official end of the Art Deco movement, the style did, as many styles do, come back around later in the 20th century. “We’ve seen Art Deco revivals in the past, most recently in the 1980s,” Wood says. “Looking at past trends chronologically, the 1980s Deco revival followed the mid-century style of the 1960s and 1970s.” So if you believe in trends being cyclical, Wood says it makes sense that we’re seeing another Deco revival bubbling up in our current culture now, after more than a decade of mid-century modern obsession.

So how can you recreate the Roaring ’20s look in 2020? It’s actually quite simple, especially if the above interior is any indication. This style certainly plays well with the white walls, wooden floors, and gold accents combination that has become so popular as of late. “Today we see a resurgence of Art Deco’s geometric patterns and a rise in material investments such as marble and burl wood,” Wood explains. “Look for pieces that have a bit of glam to them in this way.”

You don’t need to head to an antique shop to snag authentic period items either. CB2, for one, is full of stunning Art Deco-inspired accessories like this burl wood tray and curved bar cart. That said, it’s probably best to focus these kinds of decorative accessories and pieces of occasional furniture as opposed to more permanent things like finishes and fixtures, though those things can be done in a Deco way, too.

Regardless, there’s no need to trade in all of your belongings and start from scratch. As Greg Freeman of Comfort and Flair notes, “Art Deco elements can be introduced into virtually any interior through the purchase of such items as boudoir lamps, statuettes, bookends, reverse glass painted picture frames, screens/dividers, and bas relief sculptures.” Well, there’s your shopping list, should you want to add a modern Art Deco touch to your space.

The History Behind … Art Deco

The latest in National Jeweler’s The History Behind series explores one of the most popular and influential periods in jewelry design, the Art Deco era.

New York--It’s a period that’s so popular, and has enjoyed so many revivals, that the term Art Deco is used loosely to refer to jewelry, architecture and furniture from many different decades.

This Art Deco-style Oscar Heyman ring is made in platinum and set with a 13.93-carat cushion-cut orange sapphire surrounded by 2.44 carats of diamond baguettes. To truly be Art Deco though, a piece must have been manufactured in the period between the two World Wars. Otherwise, it is just Art Deco style.

For this installment of The History Behind, National Jeweler turned to two antique experts--Janet Levy, of antique jewelry company The DeYoung Collection, and Patricia Faber of the Aaron Faber Gallery--to learn more about the origins of the era’s clean aesthetic.

When did Art Deco jewelry first appear on the market? Both Levy and Faber agree that there are no firm dates for any period of jewelry design one movement simply blends into the one that follows.

“There’s not this kind of wall that divides anything,” Levy said. “It’s very fluid.”

While a touring exhibition put together by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London defines the period as 1910 to 1939, Levy said in her mind, the earliest Art Deco pieces date from about 1918 or 1919, with interest in the movement waning in the 1940s.

Why it is called Art Deco and what influenced the design of the period? Art Deco took its name from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (the International Exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts). It took place in Paris in 1925 and is said to have done more to advance the worldwide popularity of Art Deco design than any other exposition of its time.

Like most movements in design, Art Deco was a rejection of the soft, curvy forms of the period that preceded it, Art Nouveau.

It was after World War I, and “People needed an escapist, happy expression coming out of that horrible war,” Levy said.

Women enjoyed a period of liberation in terms of their hairstyles, lifestyles and clothing--think how little the flapper girls of the era wore--and wanted new, fresh-looking jewelry to go with it.

They could have it, thanks to the growing use of machines, which could produce jewelry with clean lines, and produce it in greater amounts than was possible in the past.

Later Developments - After Art Nouveau

If Art Nouveau quickly took Europe by storm in the last five years of the 19 th century, artists, designers and architects abandoned it just as quickly in the first decade of the 20 th century. Although many of its practitioners had made the doctrine that "form should follow function" central to their ethos, some designers tended to be lavish in their use of decoration, and the style began to be criticized for being overly elaborate. In a sense, as the style matured, it started to revert to the very habits it had scorned, and a growing number of opponents began to charge that rather than renewing design, it had merely swapped the old for the superficially new. Even using new mass-production methods, the intensive craftsmanship involved in much Art Nouveau design kept it from becoming truly accessible to a mass audience, as its exponents had initially hoped it might. In some cases, such as in Darmstadt, lax international copyright laws also prevented artists from monetarily benefitting from their designs.

Art Nouveau's association with exhibitions also soon contributed its undoing. To begin with, most of the fair buildings themselves were temporary structures that were torn down immediately after the event closed. But more importantly, the expositions themselves, though held under the guise of promoting education, international understanding, and peace, instead tended to fuel rivalry and competition among nations due to the inherently comparative nature of display. Many countries, including France and Belgium, considered Art Nouveau as potential contenders for the title of "national style," before charges of Art Nouveau's foreign origins or subversive political undertones (in France, it was variously associated with Belgian designers and German merchants, and was sometimes the style used in Socialist buildings) turned public opinion against it. With a few notable exceptions where it enjoyed a committed circle of dedicated local patrons, by 1910 Art Nouveau had vanished from the European design landscape.

From Wiener Werkstätte to Art Deco

Art Nouveau's death began in Germany and Austria, where designers such as Peter Behrens, Josef Hoffmann, and Koloman Moser began to turn towards a sparer, more severely geometric aesthetic as early as 1903. That year, many designers formerly associated with the Vienna Secession founded the collective known as the Wiener Werkstätte, whose preference for starkly angular and rectilinear forms recalled a more precise, industrially-inspired aesthetic that omitted any overt references to nature. This reification of the machine-made qualities of design was underscored in 1907 by two key events: the installation of Behrens as AEG's chief of all corporate design, from buildings to products to advertising, making him the world's first industrial designer and the founding of the German Werkbund, the formal alliance between industrialists and designers that increasingly attempted to define a system of product types based on standardization. Combined with a newfound respect for classicism, inspired in part by the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and given an official blessing by the City Beautiful movement in the United States, this machine-inspired aesthetic would eventually develop, in the aftermath of World War I, into the style that we now belatedly call Art Deco. Its distinctly commercial character was expressed most succinctly at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris in 1925, the event which would, in the 1960s, give Art Deco its name.

Postmodern Influences

Despite its brief life, Art Nouveau would prove influential in the 1960s and '70s to designers wishing to break free of the confining, austere, impersonal, and increasingly minimal aesthetic that prevailed in the graphic arts. The free-flowing, uncontrolled linear qualities of Art Nouveau became an inspiration for artists such as Peter Max, whose evocation of a dreamy, psychedelic alternative experience recalls the imaginative, ephemeral, and free-flowing aesthetic world of the turn of the century.

Always recognized from the start as an important step in the development of modernism in both art and architecture, today Art Nouveau is understood less as a transitional bridge between art periods as it is an expression of the style, spirit, and intellectual thought of a certain time frame, centered around 1900. In its search to establish a truly modern aesthetic, it became the defining visual language for a fleeting moment of the age.

History of Art Deco Design

The Early Days (the early to mid 1920s): New Moderne (the term for Art Deco until it got the catchier moniker in the 1960s) became popular at the French exposition in 1920 as a backlash against the more traditional designs that were so popular at the time. The movement, which grew out of the more decorative Art Nouveau, combined many styles of the time, including Cubism and Viennese Succession. Art Deco began to take off within the fashion and jewelry industries, which then began influencing furniture design, which then also informed the architectural movement. Deco architecture was intrinsically tied to art and social movements of the time: the Biltmore in Los Angeles and the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, both iconic Deco buildings, were the social centers of their cities in the early 1920s and attracted artists and intellectuals.

At Its Peak (the mid 1920s): While stylish buildings at the onset of the 1920s often featured coffered ceilings with flat, horizontal roofs, more and more cities were growing vertically to accommodate growing business and concentrated urban environments. Fittingly, many say the motto of Art Deco design was "Master the Sky." Art Deco was all about moving away from the past and paving a new way for the future, culturally and aesthetically, which meant keeping some decorative elements but also giving them a sleeker, cosmopolitan twist. As such, many Art Deco buildings wear a "tiara," the nickname for floors that aren't leasable spaces (speaking to the decorative value of design that this movement really pioneered). Tiaras make the buildings taller and distinctive, inviting you to look up.

Like the quintessential markers of the 1920s and the Jazz Age, Art Deco was shaped by the gradual loosening up of culture in general, with an emphasis on fun, expression, and excess. This attitude belied a dark underbelly (the depression and the onset of a second World War).

Late Deco (the1930s): The crash of the stock market in 1929 resulted in a pivot away from the elaborate, decorative styles of earlier Art Deco design, which reflected faith in technological and economic growth. For most buildings, funding slowed down or stopped altogether, and that's when Streamlined Moderne, a much simpler interpretation of Art Deco design, took off. Visually, these styles were known for reverting back to the more horizontal orientations and were much simpler, as any kind of ostentatious displays were considered bad form.

That's why you'll see a ton of buildings that look more streamlined everywhere but the bottom levels as funding slowed, architects would emphasize awnings and marquees. And if they were redoing older buildings, they would focus on the bottom level facing the street.

Deco's Legacy Today: In most cities during the 1920s, downtown was still the epicenter of life, so most of the arts were found in those neighborhoods, which meant they also got more funding. As wealth began moving to suburbia after World War II, people relied less on downtown shops and resources, so they got less funding. As a result, many of those crowned jewels of Art Deco architecture fell into disrepair.

Today, many Art Deco buildings exemplify adaptive reuse, an approach to development that reimagines existing spaces with new functions&mdashsay, turning a one-time department store into condo housing.


The term Art Nouveau was first used in the 1880s in the Belgian journal L'Art Moderne to describe the work of Les Vingt, twenty painters and sculptors seeking reform through art. The name was popularized by the Maison de l'Art Nouveau ("House of the New Art"), an art gallery opened in Paris in 1895 by the Franco-German art dealer Siegfried Bing. In Britain, the French term Art Nouveau was commonly used, while in France, it was often called by the term Style moderne (akin to the British term Modern Style), or Style 1900. [9] In France, it was also sometimes called Style Jules Verne (after the novelist Jules Verne), Style Métro (after Hector Guimard's iron and glass subway entrances), Art Belle Époque, or Art fin de siècle. [10]

Art Nouveau is related to, but not identical with, styles that emerged in many countries in Europe at about the same time. Their local names were often used in their respective countries to describe the whole movement.

  • In Belgium, it was sometimes termed Style coup de fouet ("Whiplash style"), Paling Stijl ("Eel style"), or Style nouille ("Noodle style") by its detractors. [10]
  • In Britain, besides Art Nouveau, it was known as the Modern Style, or, because of works of Glasgow School, as the Glasgow style. The term Modern is also used in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine, and Modernas in Lithuania.
  • In Germany and Scandinavia, it was called Reformstil ("Reform style"), or Jugendstil ("Youth style"), after the popular German art magazine of that name, [10] as well as Wellenstil ("Wave style"), or Lilienstil ("Lily style"). [9] It is now called Jugend in Finland, Sweden and Norway, Juugend in Estonia, and Jūgendstils in Latvia.
  • In Denmark, it is known as Skønvirke ("Work of beauty").
  • In Austria and the neighbouring countries then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Wiener Jugendstil, or Secessionsstil ("Secession style"), after the artists of the Vienna Secession (Hungarian: szecesszió, Czech: secese, Slovak: secesia, Polish: secesja).
  • In Italy, it was often called Liberty style, after Arthur Lasenby Liberty, the founder of London's Liberty & Co, whose textile designs were popular. It was also sometimes called Stile floreale ("Floral style"), or Arte nuova ("New Art"). [10]
  • In the United States, due to its association with Louis Comfort Tiffany, it was sometimes called the "Tiffany style". [3][11][9][12]
  • In the Netherlands, it was called Nieuwe Kunst ("New Art"), or Nieuwe Stijl ("New style"). [11][9]
  • In Portugal, Arte nova.
  • In Spain, Modernismo, Modernisme (in Catalan) and Arte joven ("Young Art").
  • In Switzerland, Style Sapin ("Pine tree style"). [9]
  • In Finland, Kalevala Style.
  • In Russia, Модерн ("Modern") or, for painting, Мир Искусства (Mir Iskusstva, "World of Art").
  • In Japan, Shiro-Uma. [13]
  • In Romania, Arta Nouă ("New Art") or Noul Stil ("New Style"). [14]

Origins Edit

Japanese woodblock print by Utagawa Kunisada (1850s)

William Morris printed textile design (1883)

Swan, rush and iris wallpaper design by Walter Crane (1883)

Chair designed by Arthur Mackmurdo (1882-1883)

The new art movement had its roots in Britain, in the floral designs of William Morris, and in the Arts and Crafts movement founded by the pupils of Morris. Early prototypes of the style include the Red House with interiors by Morris and architecture by Philip Webb (1859), and the lavish Peacock Room by James Abbott McNeill Whistler. The new movement was also strongly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite painters, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones, and especially by British graphic artists of the 1880s, including Selwyn Image, Heywood Sumner, Walter Crane, Alfred Gilbert, and especially Aubrey Beardsley. [15] The chair designed by Arthur Mackmurdo has been recognized as a precursor of Art Nouveau design. [16]

In France, it was influenced by the architectural theorist and historian Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, a declared enemy of the historical Beaux-Arts architectural style. In his 1872 book Entretiens sur l'architecture, he wrote, "Use the means and knowledge given to us by our times, without the intervening traditions which are no longer viable today, and in that way we can inaugurate a new architecture. For each function its material for each material its form and its ornament." [17] This book influenced a generation of architects, including Louis Sullivan, Victor Horta, Hector Guimard, and Antoni Gaudí. [18]

The French painters Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Vuillard played an important part in integrating fine arts painting with decoration. "I believe that before everything a painting must decorate", Denis wrote in 1891. "The choice of subjects or scenes is nothing. It is by the value of tones, the coloured surface and the harmony of lines that I can reach the spirit and wake up the emotions." [19] These painters all did both traditional painting and decorative painting on screens, in glass, and in other media. [20]

Another important influence on the new style was Japonism. This was a wave of enthusiasm for Japanese woodblock printing, particularly the works of Hiroshige, Hokusai, and Utagawa Kunisada, which were imported into Europe beginning in the 1870s. The enterprising Siegfried Bing founded a monthly journal, Le Japon artistique in 1888, and published thirty-six issues before it ended in 1891. It influenced both collectors and artists, including Gustav Klimt. The stylized features of Japanese prints appeared in Art Nouveau graphics, porcelain, jewellery, and furniture. Since the beginning of 1860, a Far Eastern influence suddenly manifested. In 1862, art lovers from London or Paris, could buy Japanese artworks, because in that year, Japan appeared for the first time as an exhibitor at the International Exhibition in London. Also in 1862, in Paris, La Porte Chinoise store, on Rue de Rivoli, was open, where Japanese ukiyo-e and other objects from the Far Eastern were sold. In 1867, Examples of Chinese Ornaments by Owen Jones appeared, and in 1870 Art and Industries in Japan by R. Alcock, and two years later, O. H. Moser and T. W. Cutler published books about Japanese art. Some Art Nouveau artists, like Victor Horta, owned a collection of Far Eastern art, especially Japanese. [13]

New technologies in printing and publishing allowed Art Nouveau to quickly reach a global audience. Art magazines, illustrated with photographs and colour lithographs, played an essential role in popularizing the new style. The Studio in England, Arts et idèes and Art et décoration in France, and Jugend in Germany allowed the style to spread rapidly to all corners of Europe. Aubrey Beardsley in England, and Eugène Grasset, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Félix Vallotton achieved international recognition as illustrators. [21] With the posters by Jules Chéret for dancer Loie Fuller in 1893, and by Alphonse Mucha for actress Sarah Bernhardt in 1895, the poster became not just advertising, but an art form. Sarah Bernhardt set aside large numbers of her posters for sale to collectors. [22]

Development – Brussels (1893–1898) Edit

Facade of the Hôtel Tassel by Victor Horta (1892–1893)

Stairway of the Hôtel Tassel

Bloemenwerf chair made by Van de Velde for his residence (1895)

The first Art Nouveau town houses, Hankar House by Paul Hankar (1893) and the Hôtel Tassel by Victor Horta (1892–1893), [4] [5] were built almost simultaneously in Brussels. Hankar was particularly inspired by the theories of the French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. With a goal to create a synthesis of fine arts and decorative arts, he brought Adolphe Crespin [fr] and Albert Ciamberlani [fr] to decorate the interior and exterior with sgraffito, or murals. Hankar decorated stores, restaurants and galleries in what a local critic called "a veritable delirium of originality". He died in 1901, just as the movement was beginning to receive recognition. [23]

Victor Horta was among the most influential architects of the early Art Nouveau, and his Hôtel Tassel (1892–1893) is one of the style's landmarks. [24] [25] Horta's architectural training was as an assistant to Alphonse Balat, architect to Leopold II of Belgium, constructing the monumental iron and glass Greenhouses of Laeken. [26] In 1892–1893, he put this experience to a very different use. He designed the residence of a prominent Belgian chemist, Émile Tassel, on a very narrow and deep site. The central element of the house was the stairway, not enclosed by walls, but open, decorated with a curling wrought-iron railing, and placed beneath a high skylight. The floors were supported by slender iron columns like the trunks of trees. The mosaic floors and walls were decorated with delicate arabesques in floral and vegetal forms, which became the most popular signature of the style. [27] [28] In a short period, Horta built three more town houses, all with open interiors, and all with skylights for maximum interior light: the Hôtel Solvay, the Hôtel van Eetvelde, and the Maison & Atelier Horta. All four are now part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Henry van de Velde, born in Antwerp, was another founding figure in the birth of Art Nouveau. Van de Velde's designs included the interior of his residence, the Bloemenwerf (1895). [29] [30] The exterior of the house was inspired by the Red House, the residence of writer and theorist William Morris, the founder of the Arts and Crafts movement. Trained as a painter, Van de Velde turned to illustration, then to furniture design, and finally to architecture. For the Bloemenwerf, he created the textiles, wallpaper, silverware, jewellery, and even clothing, that matched the style of the residence. [31] Van de Velde went to Paris, where he designed furniture and decoration for Samuel Bing, whose Paris gallery gave the style its name. He was also an early Art Nouveau theorist, demanding the use of dynamic, often opposing lines. Van de Velde wrote: "A line is a force like all the other elementary forces. Several lines put together but opposed have a presence as strong as several forces". In 1906, he departed Belgium for Weimar (Germany), where he founded the Grand-Ducal School of Arts and Crafts, where the teaching of historical styles was forbidden. He played an important role in the German Werkbund, before returning to Belgium. [32]

The debut of Art Nouveau architecture in Brussels was accompanied by a wave of Decorative Art in the new style. Important artists included Gustave Strauven, who used wrought iron to achieve baroque effects on Brussels facades the furniture designer Gustave Serrurier-Bovy, known for his highly original chairs and articulated metal furniture and the jewellery designer Philippe Wolfers, who made jewellery in the form of dragonflies, butterflies, swans and serpents. [33]

The Brussels International Exposition held in 1897 brought international attention to the style Horta, Hankar, Van de Velde, and Serrurier-Bovy, among others, took part in the design of the fair, and Henri Privat-Livemont created the poster for the exhibition.

Paris – Maison de l'Art Nouveau (1895) and Castel Beranger (1895–1898) Edit

Siegfried Bing invited artists to show modern works in his new Maison de l'Art Nouveau (1895).

The Maison de l'Art Nouveau gallery of Siegfried Bing (1895)

Poster by Félix Vallotton for the new Maison de l'Art Nouveau (1896)

The Franco-German art dealer and publisher Siegfried Bing played a key role in publicizing the style. In 1891, he founded a magazine devoted to the art of Japan, which helped publicize Japonism in Europe. In 1892, he organized an exhibit of seven artists, among them Pierre Bonnard, Félix Vallotton, Édouard Vuillard, Toulouse-Lautrec and Eugène Grasset, which included both modern painting and decorative work. This exhibition was shown at the Société nationale des beaux-arts in 1895. In the same year, Bing opened a new gallery at 22 rue de Provence in Paris, the Maison de l'Art Nouveau, devoted to new works in both the fine and decorative arts. The interior and furniture of the gallery were designed by the Belgian architect Henry van de Velde, one of the pioneers of Art Nouveau architecture. The Maison de l'Art Nouveau showed paintings by Georges Seurat, Paul Signac and Toulouse-Lautrec, glass from Louis Comfort Tiffany and Émile Gallé, jewellery by René Lalique, and posters by Aubrey Beardsley. The works shown there were not at all uniform in style. Bing wrote in 1902, "Art Nouveau, at the time of its creation, did not aspire in any way to have the honor of becoming a generic term. It was simply the name of a house opened as a rallying point for all the young and ardent artists impatient to show the modernity of their tendencies." [34]

The style was quickly noticed in neighbouring France. After visiting Horta's Hôtel Tassel, Hector Guimard built the Castel Béranger, among the first Paris buildings in the new style, between 1895 and 1898. [nb 1] Parisians had been complaining of the monotony of the architecture of the boulevards built under Napoleon III by Georges-Eugène Haussmann. The Castel Beranger was a curious blend of Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau, with curving whiplash lines and natural forms. Guimard, a skilled publicist for his work, declared: "What must be avoided at all cost is. the parallel and symmetry. Nature is the greatest builder of all, and nature makes nothing that is parallel and nothing that is symmetric." [36]

Parisians welcomed Guimard's original and picturesque style the Castel Béranger was chosen as one of the best new façades in Paris, launching Guimard's career. Guimard was given the commission to design the entrances for the new Paris Métro system, which brought the style to the attention of the millions of visitors to the city's 1900 Exposition Universelle. [10]

Paris Exposition Universelle (1900) Edit

The Bigot Pavilion, showcasing the work of ceramics artist Alexandre Bigot

Entrance to the Austrian Pavilion, with exhibits designed by Josef Hoffmann

Paris metro station entrance at Abbesses designed by Hector Guimard for the 1900 Exposition universelle

Armas Lindgren and Eliel Saarinen won international recognition for their design of the pavilion of Finland

Menu designed by Alfons Mucha for the restaurant of the Bosnia Pavilion

Portico of the Sevres Porcelain Pavilion (1900), now on square Félix-Desruelles in Paris

The Paris 1900 Exposition universelle marked the high point of Art Nouveau. Between April and November 1900, it attracted nearly fifty million visitors from around the world, and showcased the architecture, design, glassware, furniture and decorative objects of the style. The architecture of the Exposition was often a mixture of Art Nouveau and Beaux-Arts architecture: the main exhibit hall, the Grand Palais had a Beaux-Arts façade completely unrelated to the spectacular Art Nouveau stairway and exhibit hall in the interior.

French designers all made special works for the Exhibition: Lalique crystal and jewellery jewellery by Henri Vever and Georges Fouquet Daum glass the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres in porcelain ceramics by Alexandre Bigot sculpted glass lamps and vases by Émile Gallé furniture by Édouard Colonna and Louis Majorelle and many other prominent arts and crafts firms. At the 1900 Paris Exposition, Siegfried Bing presented a pavilion called Art Nouveau Bing, which featured six different interiors entirely decorated in the Style. [37] [38]

The Exposition was the first international showcase for Art Nouveau designers and artists from across Europe and beyond. Prize winners and participants included Alphonse Mucha, who made murals for the pavilion of Bosnia-Herzegovina and designed the menu for the restaurant of the pavilion the decorators and designers Bruno Paul and Bruno Möhring from Berlin Carlo Bugatti from Turin Bernhardt Pankok from Bavaria The Russian architect-designer Fyodor Schechtel, and Louis Comfort Tiffany and Company from the United States. [39] The Viennese architect Otto Wagner was a member of the jury, and presented a model of the Art Nouveau bathroom of his own town apartment in Vienna, featuring a glass bathtub. [40] Josef Hoffmann designed the Viennese exhibit at the Paris exposition, highlighting the designs of the Vienna Secession. [41] Eliel Saarinen first won international recognition for his imaginative design of the pavilion of Finland. [42]

While the Paris Exposition was by far the largest, other expositions did much to popularize the style. The 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition marked the beginning of the Modernisme style in Spain, with some buildings of Lluís Domènech i Montaner. The Esposizione internazionale d'arte decorativa moderna of 1902 in Turin, Italy, showcased designers from across Europe, including Victor Horta from Belgium and Joseph Maria Olbrich from Vienna, along with local artists such as Carlo Bugatti, Galileo Chini and Eugenio Quarti. [43]

Art Nouveau in France Edit

Poster for the dancer Loie Fuller by Jules Chéret (1893)

Poster by Alfons Mucha for Gismonda starring Sarah Bernhardt (1894)

Stairway of the Petit Palais, Paris (1900)

Doorway of the Lavirotte Building by Jules Lavirotte, 29, avenue Rapp, Paris (1901)

The jewellery shop of Georges Fouquet at 6, rue Royale, Paris, designed by Alphonse Mucha, now in the Carnavalet Museum (1901)

Comb of horn, gold, and diamonds by René Lalique (c. 1902) (Musée d'Orsay)

The Villa Majorelle in Nancy for furniture designer Louis Majorelle by architect Henri Sauvage (1901–02)

Bedroom furniture of the Villa Majorelle (1901–02), Now in the Museum of Fine Arts of Nancy

Glass and Wrought iron grill of the front door of the Villa Majorelle (1901)

Following the 1900 Exposition, the capital of Art Nouveau was Paris. The most extravagant residences in the style were built by Jules Lavirotte, who entirely covered the façades with ceramic sculptural decoration. The most flamboyant example is the Lavirotte Building, at 29, avenue Rapp (1901). Office buildings and department stores featured high courtyards covered with stained glass cupolas and ceramic decoration. The style was particularly popular in restaurants and cafés, including Maxim's at 3, rue Royale, and Le Train bleu at the Gare de Lyon (1900). [44]

The status of Paris attracted foreign artists to the city. The Swiss-born artist Eugène Grasset was one of the first creators of French Art Nouveau posters. He helped decorate the famous cabaret Le Chat Noir in 1885, made his first posters for the Fêtes de Paris and a celebrated poster of Sarah Bernhardt in 1890. In Paris, he taught at the Guérin school of art (École normale d'enseignement du dessin), where his students included Augusto Giacometti and Paul Berthon. [45] [46] Swiss-born Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen created the famous poster for the Paris cabaret Le Chat noir in 1896. The Czech artist Alphonse Mucha (1860–1939) arrived in Paris in 1888, and in 1895, made a poster for actress Sarah Bernhardt in the play Gismonda by Victorien Sardou in Théâtre de la Renaissance. The success of this poster led to a contract to produce posters for six more plays by Bernhardt.

The city of Nancy in Lorraine became the other French capital of the new style. In 1901, the Alliance provinciale des industries d'art, also known as the École de Nancy, was founded, dedicated to upsetting the hierarchy that put painting and sculpture above the decorative arts. The major artists working there included the glass vase and lamp creators Émile Gallé, the Daum brothers in glass design, and the designer Louis Majorelle, who created furniture with graceful floral and vegetal forms. The architect Henri Sauvage brought the new architectural style to Nancy with his Villa Majorelle in 1902.

The French style was widely propagated by new magazines, including The Studio, Arts et Idées and Art et Décoration, whose photographs and colour lithographs made the style known to designers and wealthy clients around the world.

In France, the style reached its summit in 1900, and thereafter slipped rapidly out of fashion, virtually disappearing from France by 1905. Art Nouveau was a luxury style, which required expert and highly-paid craftsmen, and could not be easily or cheaply mass-produced. One of the few Art Nouveau products that could be mass-produced was the perfume bottle, and these are still manufactured in the style today.

Art Nouveau in Belgium Edit

Detail of the Winter Garden of the Hôtel van Eetvelde

Former Old England department store by Paul Saintenoy, Brussels (1898–1899)

Saint-Cyr House by Gustave Strauven, Brussels (1901–1903)

House of the architect Paul Cauchie featuring sgraffito, Brussels (1905)

Bed and mirror by Gustave Serrurier-Bovy (1898–1899), now in the Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Philippe Wolfers, Plume de Paon, (Collection King Baudouin Foundation, depot: KMKG-MRAH)

Belgium was an early centre of Art Nouveau, thanks largely to the architecture of Victor Horta, who designed one of the first Art Nouveau houses, the Hôtel Tassel in 1893, and three other townhouses in variations of the same style. They are now UNESCO World Heritage sites. Horta had a strong influence on the work of the young Hector Guimard, who came to see the Hôtel Tassel under construction, and later declared that Horta was the "inventor" of the Art Nouveau. [47] Horta's innovation was not the facade, but the interior, using an abundance of iron and glass to open up space and flood the rooms with light, and decorating them with wrought iron columns and railings in curving vegetal forms, which were echoed on the floors and walls, as well as the furniture and carpets which Horta designed. [48]

Paul Hankar was another pioneer of Brussels' Art Nouveau. His house was completed in 1903, the same year as Horta's Hôtel Tassel, and featured sgraffiti murals on the facade. Hankar was influenced by both Viollet-le-Duc and the ideas of the English Arts and Crafts movement. His conception idea was to bring together decorative and fine arts in a coherent whole. He commissioned the sculptor Alfred Crick and the painter Adolphe Crespin [fr] to decorate the facades of houses with their work. The most striking example was the house and studio built for the artist Albert Ciamberlani at 48, rue Defacqz/Defacqzstraat in Brussels, for which he created an exuberant facade covered with sgraffito murals with painted figures and ornament, recreating the decorative architecture of the Quattrocento, or 15th-century Italy. [26] Hankar died in 1901, when his work was just receiving recognition. [49]

Gustave Strauven was Horta's assistant, before he started his own practice at age 21. His most famous work is the Maison Saint Cyr on Ambiorix Square in Brussels. Just four meters wide, it is decorated from top to bottom with curving ornament, in a virtually Art Nouveau-Baroque style.

Other important Art Nouveau artists from Belgium included the architect and designer Henry van de Velde, though the most important part of his career was spent in Germany he strongly influenced the decoration of the Jugendstil. Others included the decorator Gustave Serrurier-Bovy, and the graphic artist Fernand Khnopff. [5] [50] [51] Belgian designers took advantage of an abundant supply of ivory imported from the Belgian Congo mixed sculptures, combining stone, metal and ivory, by such artists as Philippe Wolfers, was popular. [52]

Nieuwe Kunst in the Netherlands Edit

The Amsterdam Commodities Exchange, by Hendrik Petrus Berlage (1896–1903)

Cabinet/Desk by Berlage (1898)

Poster for Delft Salad Oil by Jan Toorop (1893)

Vase with abstract floral design by Theo Colenbrander (1898)

Porcelain vase designed by J. Jurriaaan Kok and decorated by W.R. Sterken (1901)

In the Netherlands, the style was known as the Nieuwe Stijl ("New Style"), or Nieuwe Kunst ("New Art"), and it took a different direction from the more floral and curving style in Belgium. It was influenced by the more geometric and stylized forms of the German Jugendstil and Austrian Vienna Secession. [52] It was also influenced by the art and imported woods from Indonesia, then the Dutch East Indies, particularly the designs of the textiles and batik from Java.

The most important architect and furniture designer in the style was Hendrik Petrus Berlage, who denounced historical styles and advocated a purely functional architecture. He wrote, "It is necessary to fight against the art of illusion, to and to recognize the lie, in order to find the essence and not the illusion." [53] Like Victor Horta and Gaudí, he was an admirer of architectural theories of Viollet-le-Duc. [53] His furniture was designed to be strictly functional, and to respect the natural forms of wood, rather than bending or twisting it as if it were metal. He pointed to the example of Egyptian furniture, and preferred chairs with right angles. His first and most famous architectural work was the Beurs van Berlage (1896–1903), the Amsterdam Commodities Exchange, which he built following the principles of constructivism. Everything was functional, including the lines of rivets that decorated the walls of the main room. He often included very tall towers to his buildings to make them more prominent, a practice used by other Art Nouveau architects of the period, including Joseph Maria Olbrich in Vienna and Eliel Saarinen in Finland. [54]

Other buildings in the style include the American Hotel (1898–1900), also by Berlage and Astoria (1904–1905) by Herman Hendrik Baanders and Gerrit van Arkel in Amsterdam the railway station in Haarlem (1906–1908), and the former office building of the Holland America Lines (1917) in Rotterdam, now the Hotel New York.

Prominent graphic artists and illustrators in the style included Jan Toorop, whose work inclined toward mysticism and symbolism, even in his posters for salad oil. In their colors and designs, they also sometimes showed the influence of the art of Java. [54]

Important figures in Dutch ceramics and porcelain included Jurriaan Kok and Theo Colenbrander. They used colorful floral pattern and more traditional Art Nouveau motifs, combined with unusual forms of pottery and contrasting dark and light colors, borrowed from the batik decoration of Java. [55]

Modern Style and Glasgow School in Britain Edit

Pub building (1899-1900) by James Hoey Craigie (1870-1930). 59 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow

Cover design by Arthur Mackmurdo for a book on Christopher Wren (1883)

"The Hatrack" building by James Salmon, 142a, 144 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow (1899-1902)

The former Everard's Printing Works, Broad Street, Bristol, by Henry Williams (1900)

Art Nouveau had its roots in Britain, in the Arts and Crafts movement which started in 1860s and reached international recognition by 1880s. It called for better treatment of decorative arts, and took inspiration in medieval craftmanship and design, and nature. [56] One notable early example of the Modern Style is Arthur Mackmurdo's design for the cover of his essay on the city churches of Sir Christopher Wren, published in 1883, as is his Mahogany chair from the same year. [57]

Other important innovators in Britain included the graphic designers Aubrey Beardsley whose drawings featured the curved lines that became the most recognizable feature of the style. Free-flowing wrought iron from the 1880s could also be adduced, or some flat floral textile designs, most of which owed some impetus to patterns of 19th century design. Other British graphic artists who had an important place in the style included Walter Crane and Charles Ashbee. [58]

The Liberty department store in London played an important role, through its colourful stylized floral designs for textiles, and the silver, pewter, and jewellery designs of Manxman (of Scottish descent) Archibald Knox. His jewellery designs in materials and forms broke away entirely from the historical traditions of jewellery design.

For Art Nouveau architecture and furniture design, the most important centre in Britain was Glasgow, with the creations of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow School, whose work was inspired by Scottish baronial architecture and Japanese design. [59] Beginning in 1895, Mackintosh displayed his designs at international expositions in London, Vienna, and Turin his designs particularly influenced the Secession Style in Vienna. His architectural creations included the Glasgow Herald Building (1894) and the library of the Glasgow School of Art (1897). He also established a major reputation as a furniture designer and decorator, working closely with his wife, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, a prominent painter and designer. Together they created striking designs that combined geometric straight lines with gently curving floral decoration, particularly a famous symbol of the style, the Glasgow Rose". [60]

Léon-Victor Solon, made an important contribution to Art Nouveau ceramics as art director at Mintons. He specialised in plaques and in tube-lined vases marketed as "secessionist ware" (usually described as named after the Viennese art movement). [61] Apart from ceramics, he designed textiles for the Leek silk industry [62] and doublures for a bookbinder (G.T.Bagguley of Newcastle under Lyme), who patented the Sutherland binding in 1895.

George Skipper was perhaps the most active Art Nouveau architect in England. The Edward Everard building in Bristol, built during 1900–01 to house the printing works of Edward Everard, features an Art Nouveau façade. The figures depicted are of Johannes Gutenberg and William Morris, both eminent in the field of printing. A winged figure symbolises the "Spirit of Light", while a figure holding a lamp and mirror symbolises light and truth.

Jugendstil in Germany Edit

Cover of Pan magazine by Joseph Sattler (1895)

Cover of Jugend by Otto Eckmann (1896)

Tapestry The Five Swans by Otto Eckmann (1896–97)

Jugendstil door handle in Berlin (circa 1900)

Jugendstil dining room set and dishes by Peter Behrens (1900–1901)

Jugendstil pewter dish by WMF Design no.232. c.1906

German Art Nouveau is commonly known by its German name, Jugendstil, or "Youth Style". The name is taken from the artistic journal, Die Jugend, or Youth, which was published in Munich. The magazine was founded in 1896 by Georg Hirth, who remained editor until his death in 1916. The magazine survived until 1940. During the early 20th century, Jugendstil was applied only to the graphic arts. [63] It referred especially to the forms of typography and graphic design found in German magazines such as Jugend, Pan, and Simplicissimus. Jugendstil was later applied to other versions of Art Nouveau in Germany, the Netherlands. The term was borrowed from German by several languages of the Baltic states and Nordic countries to describe Art Nouveau (see Naming section). [11] [64]

In 1892 Georg Hirth chose the name Munich Secession for the Association of Visual Artists of Munich. The Vienna Secession, founded in 1897, [65] and the Berlin Secession also took their names from the Munich group.

The journals Jugend and Simplicissimus, published in Munich, and Pan, published in Berlin, were important proponents of the Jugendstil. Jugendstil art combined sinuous curves and more geometric lines, and was used for covers of novels, advertisements, and exhibition posters. Designers often created original styles of typeface that worked harmoniously with the image, e.g. Arnold Böcklin typeface in 1904.

Otto Eckmann was one of the most prominent German artists associated with both Die Jugend and Pan. His favourite animal was the swan, and so great was his influence that the swan came to serve as the symbol of the entire movement. Another prominent designer in the style was Richard Riemerschmid, who made furniture, pottery, and other decorative objects in a sober, geometric style that pointed forward toward Art Deco. [66] The Swiss artist Hermann Obrist, living in Munich, illustrated the coup de fouet or whiplash motif, a highly stylized double curve suggesting motion taken from the stem of the cyclamen flower.

Ernst Ludwig House by Joseph Maria Olbrich (1900) now hosting Darmstadt Colony Museum

Spa complex Sprudelhof in Bad Nauheim (1905–1911)

Art Nouveau door with a decorative sunflower motif (Rybnik Silesia)

The Darmstadt Artists' Colony was founded in 1899 by Ernest Ludwig, Grand Duke of Hesse. The architect who built Grand Duke's house, as well as the largest structure of the colony (Wedding tower), was Joseph Maria Olbrich, one of the Vienna Secession founders. Other notable artists of the colony were Peter Behrens and Hans Christiansen. Ernest Ludwig also commissioned to rebuild the spa complex in Bad Nauheim at the beginning of century. A completely new Sprudelhof [de] complex was constructed in 1905–1911 under the direction of Wilhelm Jost [de] and attained one of the main objectives of Jugendstil: a synthesis of all the arts. [67] Another member of the reigning family who commissioned an Art Nouveau structure was Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine. She founded Marfo-Mariinsky Convent in Moscow in 1908 and its katholikon is recognized as an Art Nouveau masterpiece. [68]

Another notable union in German Empire was the Deutscher Werkbund, founded in 1907 in Munich at the instigation of Hermann Muthesius by artists of Darmstadt Colony Joseph Maria Olbrich, Peter Behrens by another founder of Vienna Secession Josef Hoffmann, as well as by Wiener Werkstätte (founded by Hoffmann), by Richard Riemerschmid, Bruno Paul and other artists and companies. [69] Later Belgian Henry van de Velde joined the movement [nb 2] . The Grand-Ducal School of Arts and Crafts [de] , founded by him in Weimar, was a predecessor of Bauhaus, one of the most influential currents in Modernist architecture. [71]

In Berlin Jugendstil was chosen for the construction of several railway stations. The most notable [72] is Bülowstraße by Bruno Möhring (1900–1902), other examples are Mexikoplatz (1902–1904), Botanischer Garten (1908–1909), Frohnau (1908–1910), Wittenbergplatz (1911–1913) and Pankow (1912–1914) stations. Another notable structure of Berlin is Hackesche Höfe (1906) which used polychrome glazed brick for the courtyard facade.

Art Nouveau in Strasbourg (then part of the German Empire as the capital of the Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen) was a specific brand, in that it combined influences from Nancy, and Brussels, with influences from Darmstadt, and Vienna, to operate a local synthesis which reflected the history of the city between the Germanic and the French realms.

Secession in Austria–Hungary Edit

Vienna Secession Edit

Vampire in Ver Sacrum #12 (1899) p. 8 by Ernst Stöhr

Woman in a Yellow Dress by Max Kurzweil (1907)

Vienna became the centre of a distinct variant of Art Nouveau, which became known as the Vienna Secession. The movement took its name from Munich Secession established in 1892. Vienna Secession was founded in April 1897 by a group of artists that included Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Max Kurzweil, Ernst Stöhr, and others. [65] The painter Klimt became the president of the group. They objected to the conservative orientation toward historicism expressed by Vienna Künstlerhaus, the official union of artists. The Secession founded a magazine, Ver Sacrum, to promote their works in all media. [73] The architect Joseph Olbrich designed the domed Secession building in the new style, which became a showcase for the paintings of Gustav Klimt and other Secession artists.

Klimt became the best-known of the Secession painters, often erasing the border between fine art painting and decorative painting. Koloman Moser was an extremely versatile artist in the style his work including magazine illustrations, architecture, silverware, ceramics, porcelain, textiles, stained glass windows, and furniture.

Floral design by Alois Ludwig on the facade of Maiolica House by Otto Wagner (1898)

The most prominent architect of the Vienna Secession was Otto Wagner, [74] he joined the movement soon after its inception to follow his students Hoffmann and Olbrich. His major projects included several stations of the urban rail network (the Stadtbahn), the Linke Wienzeile Buildings (consisting of Majolica House, the House of Medallions and the house at Köstlergasse). The Karlsplatz Station is now an exhibition hall of the Vienna Museum. The Kirche am Steinhof of Steinhof Psychiatric hospital (1904–1907) is a unique and finely-crafted example of Secession religious architecture, with a traditional domed exterior but sleek, modern gold and white interior lit by abundance of modern stained glass.

In 1899 Joseph Maria Olbrich moved to Darmstadt Artists' Colony, in 1903 Koloman Moser and Josef Hoffmann founded the Wiener Werkstätte, a training school and workshop for designers and craftsmen of furniture, carpets, textiles and decorative objects. [75] In 1905 Koloman Moser and Gustav Klimt separated from Vienna Secession, later in 1907 Koloman Moser left Wiener Werkstätte as well, while its other founder Josef Hoffmann joined the Deutscher Werkbund. [69] Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann continued collaborating, they organized Kunstschau Exhibition [de] in 1908 in Vienna and built the Stoclet Palace in Brussels (1905–1911) that announced the coming of modernist architecture. [76] [77] It was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in June 2009. [78]

Hungarian Szecesszió Edit

Gróf Palace in Szeged by Ferenc Raichle (1913)

The pioneer and prophet of the Szecesszió (Secession in Hungarian), the architect Ödön Lechner, created buildings which marked a transition from historicism to modernism for Hungarian architecture. [79] His idea for a Hungarian architectural style was the use of architectural ceramics and oriental motifs. In his works, he used pygorganite placed in production by 1886 by Zsolnay Porcelain Manufactory. [79] This material was used in the construction of notable Hungarian buildings of other styles, e.g. the Hungarian Parliament Building and Matthias Church.

Works by Ödön Lechner [80] include the Museum of Applied Arts (1893–1896), other building with similar distinctive features are Geological Museum (1896–1899) and The Postal Savings Bank building (1899–1902), all in Budapest. However, due to the opposition of Hungarian architectural establishment to Lechner's success, he soon was unable to get new commissions comparable to his earlier buildings. [79] But Lechner was an inspiration and a master to the following generation of architects who played the main role in popularising the new style. [79] Within the process of Magyarization numerous buildings were commissioned to his disciples in outskirts of the kingdom: e.g. Marcell Komor [hu] and Dezső Jakab were commissioned to build the Synagogue (1901–1903) and Town Hall (1908–1910) in Szabadka (now Subotica, Serbia), County Prefecture (1905–1907) and Palace of Culture (1911–1913) in Marosvásárhely (now Târgu Mureș, Romania). Later Lechner himself built the Blue Church in Pozsony (present-day Bratislava, Slovakia) in 1909–1913.

Another important architect was Károly Kós who was a follower of John Ruskin and William Morris. Kós took the Finnish National Romanticism movement as a model and the Transylvanian vernacular as the inspiration. [81] His most notable buildings include the Roman Catholic Church in Zebegény (1908–09), pavilions for the Budapest Municipal Zoo (1909–1912) and the Székely National Museum in Sepsiszentgyörgy (now Sfântu Gheorghe, Romania, 1911–12).

Mosaic by Miksa Róth at Török Bank [fr] building in Budapest (1906)

Relief at the facade of Gresham Palace by Géza Maróti in Budapest (1906)

Cabinet by Ödön Faragó, from Budapest (1901)

The movement that promoted Szecesszió in arts was Gödöllő Art Colony, founded by Aladár Körösfői-Kriesch, also a follower John Ruskin and William Morris and a professor at the Royal School of Applied Arts in Budapest in 1901. [82] Its artists took part in many projects, including the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. [83]

An associate to Gödöllő Art Colony, [84] Miksa Róth was also involved in several dozen Szecesszió projects, including Budapest buildings including Gresham Palace (stained glass, 1906) and Török Bank [fr] (mosaics, 1906) and also created mosaics and stained glass for Palace of Culture (1911–1913) in Marosvásárhely.

A notable furniture designer is Ödön Faragó [hu] who combined traditional popular architecture, oriental architecture and international Art Nouveau in a highly picturesque style. Pál Horti [hu] , another Hungarian designer, had a much more sober and functional style, made of oak with delicate traceries of ebony and brass.

Other variations Edit

Stained glass window by Alphonse Mucha in St. Vitus Cathedral from Prague

Ceramic relief of Viola Theater in Prague by Ladislav Šaloun

The New City Hall from Prague (1908-1911)

The most prolific Slovenian Art Nouveau architect was Ciril Metod Koch. [85] He studied at Otto Wagner's classes in Vienna and worked in the Laybach (now Ljubljana, Slovenia) City Council from 1894 to 1923. After the earthquake in Laybach in 1895, he designed many secular buildings in Secession style that he adopted from 1900 to 1910: [85] Pogačnik House (1901), Čuden Building (1901), The Farmers Loan Bank (1906–07), renovated Hauptmann Building in Secession style in 1904. The highlight of his career was the Loan Bank in Radmannsdorf (now Radovljica) in 1906. [85]

The most notable Secession buildings in Prague are examples of total art with distinctive architecture, sculpture and paintings. [86] The main railway station (1901–1909) was designed by Josef Fanta and features paintings of Václav Jansa and sculptures of Ladislav Šaloun and Stanislav Sucharda along with other artists. The Municipal House (1904–1912) was designed by Osvald Polívka and Antonín Balšánek, painted by famous Czech painter Alphonse Mucha and features sculptures of Josef Mařatka and Ladislav Šaloun. Polívka, Mařatka, and Šaloun simultaneously cooperated in the construction of New City Hall (1908–1911) along with Stanislav Sucharda, and Mucha later painted St. Vitus Cathedral's stained glass windows in his distinctive style.

The style of combining Hungarian Szecesszió and national architectural elements was typical for a Slovak architect Dušan Jurkovič. His most original works are the Cultural House in Szakolca (now Skalica in Slovakia, 1905), the buildings of spa in Luhačovice (now Czech Republic) in 1901–1903 and 35 war cemeteries near Nowy Żmigród in Galicia (now Poland), most of them heavily influenced by local Lemko (Rusyn) folk art and carpentry (1915–1917).

Art Nouveau in Romania Edit

The Constanța Casino by Daniel Renard and Petre Antonescu (1905-1910)

The center of a stove from a city-house in the Rosetti Square area (Bucharest)

Doorway in Mihail Kogălniceanu Square, Bucharest

Relief on the façade of a small block, close to the Colțea Hospital, Bucharest

Mița the Cyclist House from Bucharest (1900), combination of Baroque Revival and Art Nouveau

House on Dimitrie Racoviță Street, Bucharest

The Dianu House from Craiova (1900-1905)

The Dinu Lipatti House from Bucharest by Petre Antonescu (1902), [87] combination of Baroque Revival and Art Nouveau

The Romulus Porescu House from Bucharest by Dumitru Maimarolu (1905), [88] Art Nouveau with Baroque Revival influences

The top of a tiled stove from the George Severeanu Museum, Bucharest

Detail on a fence on Lascăr Catargiu Boulevard, Bucharest

Frescos on the ceiling of the Antim Monastery Church's portico, Bucharest

Romanian Revival trilobate arch door from Bucharest, showing Art Nouveau elements

The Constanța Casino is probably the most famous example of Art Nouveau in Romania. The Casino, Kurhaus or Kursaal theme is specific to the Belle Époque. The author of the casino, started in 1905 and finished in 1910, is the architect Daniel Renard, who studied in Paris between and 1894 and 1900. He signed both the architectural and decoration plans of the casino. Specific to Art Nouveau is the embossed ornamentation of the facades, either with naturalistic floral motifs, such as those of the School of Nancy, or motifs inspired by marine fauna, such as shells and dolphins. One of the Art Nouveau houses of Bucharest is the Dinu Lipatti House (no. 12, Lascăr Catargiu Boulevard), by Petre Antonescu, its central motif being the entrance arch, above which there is a female mascaron in high relief. Among the examples of Art Nouveau architecture in Bucharest are townhouses, which sometimes have only horseshoe-shaped windows or other forms or ornaments specific to Art Nouveau. An example is the Romulus Porescu House (no. 12, Doctor Paleologu Street), which also has Egyptian Revival stained glass windows on the corner windows. Some of the Baroque Revival buildings in Bucharest have Art Nouveau or neorocaille influences, among them the Bucharest Observatory (no. 21, Lascăr Catargiu Boulevard), house no. 58 on Sfinții Voievozi Street, the Mița the Cyclist House (no. 9, Biserica Amzei Street, or no. 11, Christian Tell Street) and the Cantacuzino Palace (no. 141, Victory Avenue). [89] The Romanian Revival style, present in architecture, furniture and graphic design, includes Art Nouveau elements. [90]

A cover of the Literatură și Artă Română ("Romanian Literature and Arts") magazine (1899)

Decorative panel by Ștefan Luchian (1900)

Spring, decorative panel by Ștefan Luchian (1901)

Young woman by Ștefan Luchian, drawing for the cover the Ileana Magazine

Stamp of the Weaver Charity Society (1906)

The cover of a small poetry book from 1908

The title page of a small poetry book from 1908

The cover of a small poetry magazine from the Biblioteca Societății series (1912)

One of the most notable Art Nouveau painters from Romania was Ștefan Luchian, who quickly took over the innovative and decorative directions of Art Nouveau for a short period of time. The moment was synchronized with the founding of the Ileana Society in 1897, of which he was a founding member, a company that organized an exhibition (1898) at the Union Hotel entitled The Exhibition of Independent Artists and published a magazine - the Ileana Magazine. [91]

Transylvania has examples of both Art Nouveau and Romanian Revival buildings, the former being from the Austro-Hungarian era. Most of them can be found in Oradea, nicknamed the "Art Nouveau capital of Romania", [92] but also in Timișoara, Târgu Mureș and Sibiu. [93] [94] [95]

Stile Liberty in Italy Edit

Poster for the 1902 Turin Exposition

Villino Florio in Palermo by Ernesto Basile (1899–1902)

Entrance of Casa Guazzoni (1904–05) in Milan by Giovanni Battista Bossi (1904–06)

Art Nouveau in Italy was known as arte nuova, stile floreale, stile moderno and especially stile Liberty. Liberty style took its name from Arthur Lasenby Liberty and the store he founded in 1874 in London, Liberty Department Store, which specialised in importing ornaments, textiles and art objects from Japan and the Far East, and whose colourful textiles which were particularly popular in Italy. Notable Italian designers in the style included Galileo Chini, whose ceramics were often inspired both by majolica patterns. He was later known as a painter and a theatrical scenery designer he designed the sets for two celebrated Puccini operas Gianni Schicchi and Turandot. [96] [97] [11]

Liberty style architecture varied greatly, and often followed historical styles, particularly the Baroque. Facades were often drenched with decoration and sculpture. Examples of the Liberty style include the Villino Florio (1899–1902) by Ernesto Basile in Palermo the Palazzo Castiglioni in Milan by Giuseppe Sommaruga (1901–1903) Milan, and the Casa Guazzoni (1904–05) in Milan by Giovanni Battista Bossi (1904–06). [98]

Colorful frescoes, painted or in ceramics, and sculpture, both in the interior and exterior, were a popular feature of Liberty style. They drew upon both classical and floral themes. as in the baths of Acque della Salute, and in the Casa Guazzoni in Milan.

The most important figure in Liberty style design was Carlo Bugatti, the son of an architect and decorator, father of Rembrandt Bugatti, Liberty sculptor, and of Ettore Bugatti, famous automobile designer. He studied at the Milanese Academy of Brera, and later the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His work was distinguished by its exoticism and eccentricity, included silverware, textiles, ceramics, and musical instruments, but he is best remembered for his innovative furniture designs, shown first in the 1888 Milan Fine Arts Fair. His furniture often featured a keyhole design, and had unusual coverings, including parchment and silk, and inlays of bone and ivory. It also sometimes had surprising organic shapes, copied after snails and cobras. [99]

Modernism in Catalonia and Spain Edit

Sagrada Família basilica in Barcelona by Antoni Gaudí (1883–)

A highly original variant of the style emerged in Barcelona, Catalonia, at about the same time that the Art Nouveau style appeared in Belgium and France. It was called Modernisme in Catalan and Modernismo in Spanish. Its most famous creator was Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí used floral and organic forms in a very novel way in Palau Güell (1886–1890). According to UNESCO, "the architecture of the park combined elements from the Arts and Crafts movement, Symbolism, Expressionism, and Rationalism, and presaged and influenced many forms and techniques of 20th-century Modernism." [101] [102] [103] He integrated crafts as ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork forging and carpentry into his architecture. In his Güell Pavilions (1884–1887) and then Parc Güell (1900–1914) he also used a new technique called trencadís, which used waste ceramic pieces. His designs from about 1903, the Casa Batlló (1904–1906) and Casa Milà (1906–1912), [100] are most closely related to the stylistic elements of Art Nouveau. [104] Later structures such as Sagrada Família combined Art Nouveau elements with revivalist Neo-Gothic. [104] Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, Güell Pavilions, and Parc Güell were results of his collaboration with Josep Maria Jujol, who himself created houses in Sant Joan Despí (1913–1926), several churches near Tarragona (1918 and 1926) and the sinuous Casa Planells (1924) in Barcelona.

Besides the dominating presence of Gaudí, Lluís Domènech i Montaner also used Art Nouveau in Barcelona in buildings such as the Castell dels Tres Dragons (1888), Casa Lleó Morera, Palau de la Música Catalana (1905) and Hospital de Sant Pau (1901–1930). [104] The two latter buildings have been listed by UNESCO as World Cultural Heritage. [105]

Another major modernista was Josep Puig i Cadafalch, who designed the Casa Martí and its Els Quatre Gats café, the Casimir Casaramona textile factory (now the CaixaFòrum art museum), Casa Macaya, Casa Amatller, the Palau del Baró de Quadras (housing Casa Àsia for 10 years until 2013) and the Casa de les Punxes ("House of Spikes").

A distinctive Art Nouveau movement was also in the Valencian Community. Some of the notable architects were Demetrio Ribes Marco, Vicente Pascual Pastor, Timoteo Briet Montaud, and José María Manuel Cortina Pérez. Valencian Art Nouveau defining characteristics are a notable use of ceramics in decoration, both in the facade and in ornamentation, and also the use of Valencian regional motives.

Another remarkable variant is the Madrilenian Art Nouveau or "Modernismo madrileño", with such notable buildings as the Longoria Palace, the Casino de Madrid or the Cementerio de la Almudena, among others. Renowned modernistas from Madrid were architects José López Sallaberry, Fernando Arbós y Tremanti and Francisco Andrés Octavio [es] .

Sculpture of polychrome terracota by Lambert Escaler [ca]

Stained glass ceiling of Palau de la Música Catalana by Antoni Rigalt (1905–1908)

The Modernisme movement left a wide art heritage including drawings, paintings, sculptures, glass and metal work, mosaics, ceramics, and furniture. A part of it can be found in Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.

Inspired by a Paris café called Le Chat Noir, where he had previously worked, Pere Romeu i Borràs [ca] decided to open a café in Barcelona that was named Els Quatre Gats (Four Cats in Catalan). [106] The café became a central meeting point for Barcelona's most prominent figures of Modernisme, such as Pablo Picasso and Ramon Casas i Carbó who helped to promote the movement by his posters and postcards. For the café he created a picture called Ramon Casas and Pere Romeu on a Tandem that was replaced with his another composition entitled Ramon Casas and Pere Romeu in an Automobile in 1901, symbolizing the new century.

Antoni Gaudí designed furniture for many of the houses he built one example is an armchair called the for the Battle House. He influenced another notable Catalan furniture designer, Gaspar Homar [ca] (1870–1953) who often combined marquetry and mosaics with his furnishings. [107]

Arte Nova in Portugal Edit

Facade of Major Pessoa Residence in Aveiro (1907–1909) [108]

Atrium of Major Pessoa Residence

The Livraria Lello bookstore in Porto, Portugal (1906)

Details of Almirante Reis, 2-2K building in Lisbon (1908)

Ceramic tile of Cooperativa Agrícola in Aveiro (1913)

The Art Nouveau variant in Aveiro (Portugal) was called Arte Nova, and its principal characteristic feature was ostentation: the style was used by bourgeoisie who wanted to express their wealth on the facades while leaving the interiors conservative. [109] Another distinctive feature of Arte Nova was the use of locally produced tiles with Art Nouveau motifs. [109]

The most influential artist of Arte Nova was Francisco Augusto da Silva Rocha. [109] Though he was not trained as an architect, he designed many buildings in Aveiro and in other cities in Portugal. [110] [109] One of them, the Major Pessoa residence, has both an Art Nouveau facade and interior, and now hosts the Museum of Arte Nova. [109]

There are other examples of Arte Nova in other cities of Portugal. [111] [112] Some of them are the Museum-Residence Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves by Manuel Joaquim Norte Júnior [pt] (1904–1905) in Lisbon, Café Majestic by João Queiroz [pt] (1921) and Livraria Lello bookstore by Xavier Esteves [pt] (1906), both in Porto.

Jugendstil in the Nordic countries Edit

Finland Edit

Main entrance of the Pohjola Insurance building (1899–1901), sculptures by Hilda Flodin

By the River of Tuonela (1903) in the Finnish National Romantic Style by Akseli Gallen-Kallela

Art Nouveau was popular in the Nordic countries, where it was usually known as Jugendstil, and was often combined with the National Romantic Style of each country. The Nordic country with the largest number of Jugendstil buildings is the Grand Duchy of Finland, then a part of Russian Empire. [113] The Jugendstil period coincided with Golden Age of Finnish Art and national awakening. After Paris Exposition in 1900 the leading Finnish artist was Akseli Gallen-Kallela. [114] He is known for his illustrations of the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic, as well as for painting numerous Judendstil buildings in the Duchy.

The architects of the Finnish pavilion at the Exposition were Herman Gesellius, Armas Lindgren, and Eliel Saarinen. They worked together from 1896 to 1905 and created many notable buildings in Helsinki including Pohjola Insurance building (1899–1901) and National Museum of Finland (1905–1910) [115] as well as their joint residence Hvitträsk in Kirkkonummi (1902). Architects were inspired by Nordic legends and nature, rough granite façade thus became a symbol for belonging to the Finnish nation. [116] After the firm dissolved, Saarinen designed the Helsinki Railway Station (1905–1914) in clearer forms, influenced by American architecture. [116] The sculptor who worked with Saarinen in construction of National Museum of Finland and Helsinki Railway Station was Emil Wikström.

Another architect who created several notable works in Finland was Lars Sonck. His major Jugendstil works include Tampere Cathedral (1902–1907), Ainola, the home of Jean Sibelius (1903), Headquarters of the Helsinki Telephone Association (1903–1907) and Kallio Church in Helsinki (1908–1912). Also, Magnus Schjerfbeck, brother of Helene Schjerfbeck, made tuberculosis sanatorium known as Nummela Sanatorium in 1903 using the Jugendstil style. [117] [118] [119]

Norway Edit

Viking-Art Nouveau Chair by Norwegian designer Lars Kinsarvik (1900)

Interior of Art Nouveau Centre in Ålesund

Ornaments of a door in Art Nouveau Centre in Ålesund

Norway also was aspiring independence (from Sweden) and local Art Nouveau was connected with a revival inspired by Viking folk art and crafts. Notable designers included Lars Kisarvik, who designed chairs with traditional Viking and Celtic patterns, and Gerhard Munthe, who designed a chair with a stylized dragon-head emblem from ancient Viking ships, as well as a wide variety of posters, paintings and graphics. [120]

The Norwegian town of Ålesund is regarded as the main centre of Art Nouveau in Scandinavia because it was completely reconstructed after a fire of 23 January 1904. [121] About 350 buildings were built between 1904 and 1907 under an urban plan designed by the engineer Frederik Næsser. The merger of unity and variety gave birth to a style known as Ål Stil. Buildings of the style have linear decor and echoes of both Jugendstil and vernacular elements, e.g. towers of stave churches or the crested roofs. [121] One of the buildings, Swan Pharmacy, now hosts the Art Nouveau Centre.

Sweden and Denmark Edit

Vase with blackberry, painting by Per Algot Eriksson, and silver by E. Lefebvre, in the Bröhan Museum (Berlin)

Cup and saucer from the 'iris' service (1897), in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Inkwell and stamp box, by Jens Dahl-Jensen (c. 1900), in the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt (Darmstadt, Germany)

The Great Hall of City Library of Aarhus by Karl Hansen Reistrup

Jugendstil masterpieces of other Nordic countries include Engelbrektskyrkan (1914) and Royal Dramatic Theater (1901–1908) in Stockholm, Sweden [122] and former City Library (now Danish National Business Archives) in Aarhus, Denmark (1898–1901). [123] The architect of the latter is Hack Kampmann, then a proponent of National Romantic Style who also created Custom House, Theatre and Villa Kampen in Aarhus. Denmark's most notable Art Nouveau designer was the silversmith Georg Jensen. The Baltic Exhibition in Malmö 1914 can be seen as the last major manifestation of the Jugendstil in Sweden. [124]

Modern in Russia Edit

Illustration of the Firebird by Ivan Bilibin (1899)

Set for Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's ballet Scheherazade by Léon Bakst (1910)

Program design for "Afternoon of a Faun" by Léon Bakst for Ballets Russes, (1912)

Chairs by Sergey Malyutin, Talashkino Art Colony

Ceramic fireplace on Russian folklore theme by Mikhail Vrubel (1908)

Модерн ("Modern") was a very colourful Russian variation of Art Nouveau which appeared in Moscow and Saint Petersburg in 1898 with the publication of a new art journal, "Мир искусства" (transliteration: Mir Iskusstva) ("The World of Art"), by Russian artists Alexandre Benois and Léon Bakst, and chief editor Sergei Diaghilev. The magazine organized exhibitions of leading Russian artists, including Mikhail Vrubel, Konstantin Somov, Isaac Levitan, and the book illustrator Ivan Bilibin. The World of Art style made less use of the vegetal and floral forms of French Art Nouveau it drew heavily upon the bright colours and exotic designs of Russian folklore and fairy tales. The most influential contribution of the "World of Art" was the creation of a new ballet company, the Ballets Russes, headed by Diaghilev, with costumes and sets designed by Bakst and Benois. The new ballet company premiered in Paris in 1909, and performed there every year through 1913. The exotic and colourful sets designed by Benois and Bakst had a major impact on French art and design. The costume and set designs were reproduced in the leading Paris magazines, L'Illustration, La Vie parisienne and Gazette du bon ton, and the Russian style became known in Paris as à la Bakst. The company was stranded in Paris first by the outbreak of World War I, and then by the Russian Revolution in 1917, and ironically never performed in Russia. [125]

Of Russian architects, the most prominent in the pure Art Nouveau style was Fyodor Schechtel. The most famous example is the Ryabushinsky House in Moscow. It was built by a Russian businessman and newspaper owner, and then, after the Russian Revolution, became the residence of the writer Maxim Gorky, and is now the Gorky Museum. Its main staircase, made of a polished aggregate of concrete, marble and granite, has flowing, curling lines like the waves of the sea, and is illuminated by a lamp in the form of a floating jellyfish. The interior also features doors, windows and ceiling decorated with colorful frescoes of mosaic. [126] Schechtel, who is also considered a major figure in Russian symbolism, designed several other landmark buildings in Moscow, including the rebuilding of the Moscow Yaroslavsky railway station, in a more traditional Moscow revival style. [126]

Main staircase of Ryabushinsky House Moscow by Fyodor Schechtel (1900)

Teremok House in Talashkino a Russian Revival work by Sergey Malyutin (1901–1902)

Cartouche with a mascaron, on the facade of the Singer House, by Pavel Suzor (1904)

Pertsova House by Sergey Malyutin in Moscow (1905–1907)

Facade of the Hotel Metropol in Moscow with mosaics by Mikhail Vrubel (1899–1907)

The Holy Spirit Church in Talashkino, by Sergey Malyutin

Other Russian architects of the period created Russian Revival architecture, which drew from historic Russian architecture. These buildings were created mostly in wood, and referred to the Architecture of Kievan Rus'. One example is the Teremok House in Talashkino (1901–1902) by Sergey Malyutin, and Pertsova House (also known as Pertsov House) in Moscow (1905–1907). He also was a member of Mir iskusstva movement. The Saint Petersburg architect Nikolai Vasilyev built in a range of styles before emigrating in 1923. This building is most notable for stone carvings made by Sergei Vashkov inspired by the carvings of Cathedral of Saint Demetrius in Vladimir and Saint George Cathedral in Yuryev-Polsky of the XII and XIII centuries. The Marfo-Mariinsky Convent (1908–1912) by Alexey Shchusev is an updated version of a classic Russian Orthodox Church. Shchusev later designed Lenin's Mausoleum (1924) in Moscow.

Several art colonies in Russia in this period were built in the Russian Revival style. The two best-known colonies were situated in Abramtsevo, funded by Savva Mamontov, and Talashkino, Smolensk Governorate, funded by Princess Maria Tenisheva. One example of this Russian Revival architecture is the Marfo-Mariinsky Convent (1908–1912), an updated Russian Orthodox Church by Alexey Shchusev, who later, ironically, designed Lenin's Mausoleum in Moscow.

Jūgendstils (Art Nouveau in Riga) Edit

Facade of house at Elizabetes ielā, 10b, by Mikhail Eisenstein (1903)

Stairway in Pēkšēns House by Konstantīns Pēkšēns (1903) now hosting Riga Jūgendstils museum

National Romantic decoration on a house built by Konstantīns Pēkšēns (1908)

Ministry of Education, built by Edgar Friesendorf (1911)

Riga, the present-day capital of Latvia, was at the time one of the major cities of the Russian Empire. Art Nouveau architecture in Riga nevertheless developed according to its own dynamics, and the style became overwhelmingly popular in the city. Soon after the Latvian Ethnographic Exhibition in 1896 and the Industrial and Handicrafts Exhibition in 1901, Art Nouveau became the dominant style in the city. [127] Thus Art Nouveau architecture accounts for one-third of all the buildings in the centre of Riga, making it the city with the highest concentration of such buildings anywhere in the world. The quantity and quality of Art Nouveau architecture was among the criteria for including Riga in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. [128]

There were different variations of Art Nouveau architecture in Riga:

  • in Eclectic Art Nouveau, floral and other nature-inspired elements of decoration were most popular. Examples of that variation are works of Mikhail Eisenstein,
  • in Perpendicular Art Nouveau, geometrical ornaments were integrated into the vertical compositions of the facades. Several department stores were built in this style, and it is sometimes also referred to as "department store style" or Warenhausstil in German,
  • National Romantic Art Nouveau was inspired by local folk art, monumental volumes and the use of natural building materials.

Some later Neo-Classical buildings also contained Art Nouveau details.

Style Sapin in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland Edit

Villa Fallet with fir-inspired decoration (1906) by Eduard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier) (1905)

Crematorium (1908–10), interior, with stylized fir tree design on ceiling. The symbolist murals by L'Epplattenier were added later.

Crematorium (1908–10), with stylized "sapin" or pine cone detail

Crematorium (1908–10), with pine cone detail.

A variation called Style Sapin ("Pine Tree Style") emerged in La Chaux-de-Fonds in the Canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. The style was launched by the painter and artist Charles l’Eplattenier and was inspired especially by the sapin, or pine tree, and other plants and wildlife of the Jura Mountains. One of his major works was the Crematorium in the town, which featured triangular tree forms, pine cones, and other natural themes from the region. The style also blended in the more geometric stylistic elements of Jugendstil and Vienna Secession. [129]

Another notable building in the style is the Villa Fallet La Chaux-de-Fonds, a chalet designed and built in 1905 by a student of L'Epplattenier, the eighteen-year-old Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (1887–1965) who later became better known as Le Corbusier, The form of the house was a traditional Swiss chalet, but the decoration of the facade included triangular trees and other natural features. Jeanneret built two more chalets in the area, including the Villa Stotzer, in a more traditional chalet style. [130] [129] [131] [132]

Tiffany Style and Louis Sullivan in the United States Edit

Tiffany Chapel from the 1893 Word's Columbian Exposition, now in the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, Florida

Poster Century by Louis John Rhead (1894)

Wisteria lamp by Louis Comfort Tiffany (circa 1902), in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Tiffany window in his house at Oyster Bay, New York

The Flight of Souls Window by Louis Comfort Tiffany won a gold medal at the 1900 Paris Exposition

Detail of the Prudential (Guaranty) Building, New York Louis Sullivan (1896)

In the United States, the firm of Louis Comfort Tiffany played a central role in American Art Nouveau. Born in 1848, he studied at the National Academy of Design in New York, began working with glass at the age of 24, entered the family business started by his father, and in 1885 set up his own enterprise devoted to fine glass, and developed new techniques for its colouring. In 1893, he began making glass vases and bowls, again developing new techniques that allowed more original shapes and colouring, and began experimenting with decorative window glass. Layers of glass were printed, marbled and superimposed, giving an exceptional richness and variety of colour in 1895 his new works were featured in the Art Nouveau gallery of Siegfried Bing, giving him a new European clientele. After the death of his father in 1902, he took over the entire Tiffany enterprise, but still devoted much of his time to designing and manufacturing glass art objects. At the urging of Thomas Edison, he began to manufacture electric lamps with multicoloured glass shades in structures of bronze and iron, or decorated with mosaics, produced in numerous series and editions, each made with the care of a piece of jewellery. A team of designers and craftsmen worked on each product. The Tiffany lamp in particular became one of the icons of the Art Nouveau, but Tiffany's craftsmen (and craftswomen) designed and made extraordinary windows, vases, and other glass art. Tiffany's glass also had great success at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris his stained glass window called the Flight of Souls won a gold medal. [133] The Columbian Exposition was an important venue for Tiffany a chapel he designed was shown at the Pavilion of Art and Industry. The Tiffany Chapel, along with one of the windows of Tiffany's home in New York, are now on display at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, Florida.

Another important figure in American Art Nouveau was the architect Louis Sullivan. Sullivan was a leading pioneer of American modern architecture. He was the founder of the Chicago School, the architect of some of the first skyscrapers, and the teacher of Frank Lloyd Wright. His most famous saying was "Form follows function". While the form of his buildings was shaped by their function, his decoration was an example of American Art Nouveau. At the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, most famous for the neoclassical architecture of its renowned White City, he designed a spectacular Art Nouveau entrance for the very functional Transportation Building. [134] [135]

While the architecture of his Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building (1899) (now the Sullivan Center) was strikingly modern and functional, he surrounded the windows with stylized floral decoration. He invented equally original decoration for the National Farmer's Bank of Owatonna, Minnestota (1907–1908) and the Merchants' National Bank in Grinell, Iowa. He invented a specifically American variety of Art Nouveau, declaring that decorative forms should oscillate, surge, mix and derive without end. He created works of great precision which sometimes combined Gothic with Art Nouveau themes. [136]

Art Nouveau in Argentina Edit

Stained glass and sculptures by Ercole Pasina in Calise House in Buenos Aires (1911)

Metal work, ceramics and statues at the facade of Club Español building [es] in Rosario (1912)

Ceramic chimney of Confitería La Europea in Rosario (1916)

Flooded with European immigrants, Argentina welcomed all artistic and architectural European styles, including Art Nouveau. [137] Cities with the most notable Art Nouveau heritage in Argentina are Buenos Aires, Rosario and Mar del Plata. [138]

Paris was a prototype for Buenos Aires with the construction of large boulevards and avenues in the 19th century. [137] The local style along with French influence was also following Italian Liberty as many architects (Virginio Colombo, Francisco Gianotti, Mario Palanti) were Italians. In works of Julián García Núñez [es] Catalan influence can be noted as he completed his studies in Barcelona in 1900. [137] The influence of Vienna Secession can be found at Paso y Viamonte building. [137]

The introduction of Art Nouveau in Rosario is connected to Francisco Roca Simó [es] who trained in Barcelona. [139] His Club Español building [es] (1912) features one of the largest stained glass windows in Latin America produced (as well as tiling and ceramics) by the local firm Buxadera, Fornells y Cía. [140] The sculptor of the building is Diego Masana from Barcelona. [140]

Belgian influence on Argentinian Art Nouveau is represented by the Villa Ortiz Basualdo, now hosting the Juan Carlos Castagnino Municipal Museum of Art in Mar del Plata where the furniture, interiors, and lighting are by Gustave Serrurier-Bovy.

Art Nouveau in the rest of the world Edit

Art Nouveau/Neoclassical Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City (1904–1934)

An Allegorical Wedding: Sketch for a carpet (Triptych from right to left): Exile, Marriage, Redemption by Ephraim Moses Lilien (1906)

A bistro at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi (1902) with Art Nouveau and colonial designs

As in Argentina, Art Nouveau in other countries was mostly influenced by foreign artists:

  • Spaniards were behind Art Nouveau projects in Havana, Cuba, they were even not qualified enough to be called architects. [141] Spaniards were not directly involved in works in Ponce, Puerto Rico but were an inspiration and a subject of study for local architects in Ponce, Puerto Rico, [142]
  • French were behind Art Nouveau in Tunisia (that was a French protectorate then),
  • Germans were behind Jugendstil heritage of Lüderitz, Namibia [143]Qingdao, China,
  • Italians were behind Art Nouveau in Valparaiso, Chile [144]Montevideo, Uruguay Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, [145]
  • Russians were behind Art Nouveau heritage of Harbin, China, [146]
  • Art Nouveau Heritage in Lima consists of work of Italians Masperi brothers, French architect Claude Sahut and British masters of stained glass [147] in Mexico City was a result of the cooperation of Italians (architect Adamo Boari and sculptor Leonardo Bistolfi), local architect Federico Mariscal [es] , Hungarian artists Aladár Körösfői-Kriesch, Géza Maróti and Miksa Róth, Catalan sculptor Agustí Querol Subirats and French master Edgar Brandt. [148]

Art Nouveau motifs can also be found in French Colonial artchitechture throughout French Indochina.

A notable art movement called Bezalel school appeared in the Palestine region in dating to the late Ottoman and British Mandate periods. It has been described as "a fusion of oriental art and Jugendstil." [149] Several artists associated with the Bezalel school were noted for their Art Nouveau style, including Ze'ev Raban, Ephraim Moses Lilien and Abel Pann. [150]

Coup de Fouet or whiplash motif, depicting the stems of cyclamen flowers, by Hermann Obrist (1895)

Stylized vegetal forms Entrance of the Anvers Metro Station in Paris by Hector Guimard (1900)

Floral patterns. Lamp with Wisteria design by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1899-1900)

Exotic materials and decoration. Mahogany and amourette wood cabinet with water lily decoration of gilded bronze by Louis Majorelle (1905–08)

Highly stylized floral designs in balconies and railings. Otto Wagner stairway in Majolica House, Vienna (1898)

Early Art Nouveau, particularly in Belgium and France, was characterized by undulating, curving forms inspired by lilies, vines, flower stems and other natural forms, used in particular in the interiors of Victor Horta and the decoration of Louis Majorelle and Émile Gallé. [151] It also drew upon patterns based on butterflies and dragonflies, borrowed from Japanese art, which were popular in Europe at the time. [151]

Early Art Nouveau also often featured more stylized forms expressing movement, such as the coup de fouet or "whiplash" line, depicted in the cyclamen plants drawn by designer Hermann Obrist in 1894. A description published in Pan magazine of Hermann Obrist's wall hanging Cyclamen (1894), compared it to the "sudden violent curves generated by the crack of a whip," [152] The term "whiplash", though it was originally used to ridicule the style, is frequently applied to the characteristic curves employed by Art Nouveau artists. [152] Such decorative undulating and flowing lines in a syncopated rhythm and asymmetrical shape, are often found in the architecture, painting, sculpture, and other forms of Art Nouveau design. [152]

Other floral forms were popular, inspired by lilies, wisteria and other flowers, particularly in the lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany and the glass objects made by the artists of the School of Nancy and Émile Gallé. Other curving and undulating forms borrowed from nature included butterflies, peacocks, swans, and water lilies. Many designs depicted women's hair intertwined with stems of lilies, irises and other flowers. [153] Stylized floral forms were particularly used by Victor Horta in carpets, balustrades, windows, and furniture. They were also used extensively by Hector Guimard for balustrades, and, most famously, for the lamps and railings at the entrances of the Paris Metro. Guimard explained: "That which must be avoided in everything that is continuous is the parallel and symmetry. Nature is the greatest builder and nature makes nothing that is parallel and nothing that is symmetrical." [154]

Earlier Art Nouveau furniture, such as that made by Louis Majorelle and Henry van de Velde, was characterized by the use of exotic and expensive materials, including mahogany with inlays of precious woods and trim, and curving forms without right angles. It gave a sensation of lightness.

In the second phase of Art Nouveau, following 1900, the decoration became purer and the lines were more stylized. The curving lines and forms evolved into polygons and then into cubes and other geometric forms. These geometric forms were used with particular effect in the architecture and furniture of Joseph Maria Olbrich, Otto Wagner, Koloman Moser and Josef Hoffmann, especially the Palais Stoclet in Brussels, which announced the arrival of Art Deco and modernism. [76] [77] [78]

Another characteristic of Art Nouveau architecture was the use of light, by opening up of interior spaces, by the removal of walls, and the extensive use of skylights to bring a maximum amount of light into the interior. Victor Horta's residence-studio and other houses built by him had extensive skylights, supported on curving iron frames. In the Hotel Tassel he removed the traditional walls around the stairway, so that the stairs became a central element of the interior design.

As an art style, Art Nouveau has affinities with the Pre-Raphaelites and the Symbolist styles, and artists like Aubrey Beardsley, Alphonse Mucha, Edward Burne-Jones, Gustav Klimt and Jan Toorop could be classed in more than one of these styles. Unlike Symbolist painting, however, Art Nouveau has a distinctive appearance and, unlike the artisan-oriented Arts and Crafts movement, Art Nouveau artists readily used new materials, machined surfaces, and abstraction in the service of pure design.

Art Nouveau did not eschew the use of machines, as the Arts and Crafts movement did. For sculpture, the principal materials employed were glass and wrought iron, resulting in sculptural qualities even in architecture. Ceramics were also employed in creating editions of sculptures by artists such as Auguste Rodin. [155] though his sculpture is not considered Art Nouveau.

Art Nouveau architecture made use of many technological innovations of the late 19th century, especially the use of exposed iron and large, irregularly shaped pieces of glass for architecture.

Art Nouveau tendencies were also absorbed into local styles. In Denmark, for example, it was one aspect of Skønvirke ("aesthetic work"), which itself more closely relates to the Arts and Crafts style. [156] [157] Likewise, artists adopted many of the floral and organic motifs of Art Nouveau into the Młoda Polska ("Young Poland") style in Poland. [158] Młoda Polska, however, was also inclusive of other artistic styles and encompassed a broader approach to art, literature, and lifestyle. [159]

Art Nouveau is represented in painting and sculpture, but it is most prominent in architecture and the decorative arts. It was well-suited to the graphic arts, especially the poster, interior design, metal and glass art, jewellery, furniture design, ceramics and textiles.

Posters and graphic art Edit

First issue of The Studio, with cover by Aubrey Beardsley (1893)

Poster for Grafton Galleries by Eugène Grasset (1893)

The Inland Printer magazine cover by Will H. Bradley (1894)

Poster for The Chap-Book by Will H. Bradley (1895)

Biscuits Lefèvre-Utile by Alphonse Mucha (1896)

Zodiac Calendar by Alphonse Mucha (1896)

Ver Sacrum illustration by Koloman Moser (1899)

illustration from Ver Sacrum by Koloman Moser (1900)

The graphic arts flourished in the Art Nouveau period, thanks to new technologies of printing, particularly colour lithography, which allowed the mass production of colour posters. Art was no longer confined to galleries, museums and salons it could be found on Paris walls, and in illustrated art magazines, which circulated throughout Europe and to the United States. The most popular theme of Art Nouveau posters was women women symbolizing glamour, modernity and beauty, often surrounded by flowers.

In Britain, the leading graphic artist in the Art Nouveau style was Aubrey Beardsley (1872–1898). He began with engraved book illustrations for Le Morte d'Arthur, then black and white illustrations for Salome by Oscar Wilde (1893), which brought him fame. In the same year, he began engraving illustrations and posters for the art magazine The Studio, which helped publicize European artists such as Fernand Khnopff in Britain. The curving lines and intricate floral patterns attracted as much attention as the text. [160]

The Swiss-French artist Eugène Grasset (1845–1917) was one of the first creators of French Art Nouveau posters. He helped decorate the famous cabaret Le Chat noir in 1885 and made his first posters for the Fêtes de Paris. He made a celebrated poster of Sarah Bernhardt in 1890, and a wide variety of book illustrations. The artist-designers Jules Chéret, Georges de Feure and the painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec all made posters for Paris theaters, cafés, dance halls cabarets. The Czech artist Alphonse Mucha (1860–1939) arrived in Paris in 1888, and in 1895 made a poster for actress Sarah Bernhardt in the play Gismonda by Victorien Sardou. The success of this poster led to a contract to produce posters for six more plays by Bernhardt. Over the next four years, he also designed sets, costumes, and even jewellery for the actress. [161] [162] Based on the success of his theater posters, Mucha made posters for a variety of products, ranging from cigarettes and soap to beer biscuits, all featuring an idealized female figure with an hourglass figure. He went on to design products, from jewellery to biscuit boxes, in his distinctive style. [163]

In Vienna, the most prolific designer of graphics and posters was Koloman Moser (1868–1918), who actively participated in the Secession movement with Gustav Klimt and Josef Hoffmann, and made illustrations and covers for the magazine of the movement, Ver Sacrum, as well as paintings, furniture and decoration. [164]

Painting Edit

Pierre Bonnard, Women in the Garden (1890–91), painted screens in the Japanese kamemono style

Le Corsage rayé by Édouard Vuillard (1895), National Gallery of Art

Paul Sérusier, Women at the Spring, Musée d'Orsay (1898)

Beethoven Frieze in the Sezessionshaus in Vienna by Gustav Klimt (1902)

Watercolour and ink painting of Loïe Fuller Dancing, by Koloman Moser (1902)

Sgraffito by Paul Cauchie on his residence and studio, Brussels (1905)

Detail of the frieze by Gustav Klimt in the Palais Stoclet, Brussels (1905–1911)

Painting was another domain of Art Nouveau, though most painters associated with Art Nouveau are primarily described as members of other movements, particularly post-impressionism and symbolism. Alphonse Mucha was famous for his Art Nouveau posters, which frustrated him. According to his son and biographer, Jiří Mucha, he did not think much of Art Nouveau. "What is it, Art Nouveau? he asked. ". Art can never be new." [165] He took the greatest pride in his work as a history painter. His one Art-Nouveau inspired painting, "Slava", is a portrait of the daughter of his patron in Slavic costume, which was modelled after his theatrical posters. [165]

The painters most closely associated with Art Nouveau were Les Nabis, post-impressionist artists who were active in Paris from 1888 until 1900. One of their stated goals was to break down the barrier between the fine arts and the decorative arts. They painted not only canvases, but also decorative screens and panels. Many of their works were influenced by the aesthetics of Japanese prints. The members included Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis, Paul Ranson, Édouard Vuillard, Ker-Xavier Roussel, Félix Vallotton, and Paul Sérusier. [166]

In Belgium, Fernand Khnopff worked in both painting and graphic design. Wall murals by Gustav Klimt were integrated into decorative scheme of Josef Hoffmann for the Palais Stoclet. The Klimt mural for the dining room at the Palais Stoclet (1905–1911) is considered a masterpiece of late Art Nouveau.

One subject did appear both in traditional painting and Art Nouveau the American dancer Loie Fuller, was portrayed by French and Austrian painters and poster artists. [167]

One particular style that became popular in the Art Nouveau period, especially in Brussels, was sgraffito, a technique invented in the Renaissance of applying layers of tinted plaster to make murals on the facades of houses. This was used in particular by Belgian architect Paul Hankar for the houses he built for two artist friends, Paul Cauchie and Albert Ciamberlani.

Glass art Edit

Cup Par une telle nuit by Émile Gallé, France, (1894)

Lampe aux ombelles by Émile Gallé, France, (about 1902)

Rose de France cup by Émile Gallé, (1901)

Stained glass window Veranda de la Salle by Jacques Grüber in Nancy, France (1904)

Blown glass with flower design by Karl Koepping, Germany, (1896)

Glass designed by Otto Prutscher (Austria) (1909)

Window for the House of an Art Lover, by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh (1901)

Jack-in-the-pulpit vase, Louis Comfort Tiffany, U.S. (1910) [168]

Stained glass window Architecture by John La Farge U.S. (1903)

Stained glass windows by Koloman Moser for the Church of St. Leopold, Vienna (1902–07)

Glass art was a medium in which Art Nouveau found new and varied ways of expression. Intense amount of experimentation went on, particularly in France, to find new effects of transparency and opacity: in engraving win cameo, double layers, and acid engraving, a technique that permitted production in series. The city of Nancy became an important centre for the French glass industry, and the workshops of Émile Gallé and the Daum studio, led by Auguste and Antonin Daum, were located there. They worked with many notable designers, including Ernest Bussière [fr] , Henri Bergé (illustrateur) [fr] , and Amalric Walter. They developed a new method of incrusting glass by pressing fragments of different coloured glass into the unfinished piece. They often collaborated with the furniture designer Louis Majorelle, whose home and workshops were in Nancy. Another feature of Art Nouveau was the use of stained glass windows with that style of floral themes in residential salons, particularly in the Art Nouveau houses in Nancy. Many were the work of Jacques Grüber, who made windows for the Villa Majorelle and other houses. [169]

In Belgium, the leading firm was the glass factory of Val Saint Lambert, which created vases in organic and floral forms, many of them designed by Philippe Wolfers. Wolfers was noted particularly for creating works of symbolist glass, often with metal decoration attached. In Bohemia, then a region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire noted for crystal manufacture, the companies J. & L. Lobmeyr and Joh. Loetz Witwe also experimented with new colouring techniques, producing more vivid and richer colours. In Germany, experimentation was led by Karl Köpping, who used blown glass to create extremely delicate glasses in the form of flowers so delicate that few survive today. [170]

In Vienna, the glass designs of the Secession movement were much more geometrical than those of France or Belgium Otto Prutscher was the most rigorous glass designer of the movement. [170] In Britain, a number of floral stained glass designs were created by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh for the architectural display called "The House of an Art Lover".

In the United States, Louis Comfort Tiffany and his designers became particularly famous for their lamps, whose glass shades used common floral themes intricately pieced together. Tiffany lamps gained popularity after the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, where Tiffany displayed his lamps in a Byzantine-like chapel. Tiffany experimented extensively with the processes of colouring glass, patenting in 1894 the process Favrile glass, which used metallic oxides to colour the interior of the molten glass, giving it an iridescent effect. His workshops produced several different series of the Tiffany lamp in different floral designs, along with stained glass windows, screens, vases and a range of decorative objects. His works were first imported to Germany, then to France by Siegfried Bing, and then became one of the decorative sensations of the 1900 Exposition. An American rival to Tiffany, Steuben Glass, was founded in 1903 in Corning, NY, by Frederick Carder, who, like Tiffany, used the Fevrile process to create surfaces with iridescent colours. Another notable American glass artist was John La Farge, who created intricate and colourful stained glass windows on both religious and purely decorative themes. [170]

Examples of stained glass windows in churches can be found in the Art Nouveau religious buildings article.

Metal art Edit

Balcony of Castel Béranger in Paris, by Hector Guimard (1897–98)

Railings by Louis Majorelle for the Bank Renauld in Nancy

Tulip candelabra by Fernand Dubois (1899)

Table Lamp by François-Raoul Larche in gilt bronze, with the dancer Loïe Fuller as model (1901)

Entrance grill of the Villa Majorelle in Nancy (1901–02)

Cast iron Baluster by George Grant Elmslie (1899-1904)

Lamp by German architect Friedrich Adler (1903–04)

Lamp by Ernst Riegel made of silver and malachite (1905)

Gate of the Palais Stoclet by Josef Hoffmann, Brussels (1905-1911)

Gate of Villa Knopf in Strasbourg (1905)

The 19th-century architectural theorist Viollet-le-Duc had advocated showing, rather than concealing the iron frameworks of modern buildings, but Art Nouveau architects Victor Horta and Hector Guimard went a step further: they added iron decoration in curves inspired by floral and vegetal forms both in the interiors and exteriors of their buildings. They took the form of stairway railings in the interior, light fixtures, and other details in the interior, and balconies and other ornaments on the exterior. These became some of the most distinctive features of Art Nouveau architecture. The use of metal decoration in vegetal forms soon also appeared in silverware, lamps, and other decorative items. [171]

In the United States, the designer George Grant Elmslie made extremely intricate cast iron designs for the balustrades and other interior decoration of the buildings of Chicago architect Louis Sullivan.

While French and American designers used floral and vegetal forms, Joseph Maria Olbrich and the other Secession artists designed teapots and other metal objects in a more geometric and sober style. [172]

Jewellery Edit

Carved horn decorated with pearls, by Louis Aucoc (circa 1900)

Translucent enamel flowers with small diamonds in the veins, by Louis Aucoc (circa 1900)

"Flora" brooch by Louis Aucoc (circa 1900)

A corsage ornament by Louis Tiffany (1900)

Dragonfly Lady brooch by René Lalique, made of gold, enamel, chrysoprase, moonstone, and diamonds (1897–98)

Brooch with woman by René Lalique

Brooch of horn with enamel, gold and aquamarine by Paul Follot (1904–09)

Art Nouveau jewellery's characteristics include subtle curves and lines. Its design often features natural objects including flowers, animals or birds. The female body is also popular often appearing on cameos. It frequently included long necklaces made of pearls or sterling-silver chains punctuated by glass beads or ending in a silver or gold pendant, itself often designed as an ornament to hold a single, faceted jewel of amethyst, peridot, or citrine. [173]

The Art Nouveau period brought a notable stylistic revolution to the jewellery industry, led largely by the major firms in Paris. For the previous two centuries, the emphasis in fine jewellery had been creating dramatic settings for diamonds. During the reign of Art Nouveau, diamonds usually played a supporting role. Jewellers experimented with a wide variety of other stones, including agate, garnet, opal, moonstone, aquamarine and other semi-precious stones, and with a wide variety of new techniques, among others enamelling, and new materials, including horn, moulded glass, and ivory.

Early notable Paris jewellers in the Art Nouveau style included Louis Aucoc, whose family jewellery firm dated to 1821. The most famous designer of the Art Nouveau period, René Lalique, served his apprenticeship in the Aucoc studio from 1874 to 1876. Lalique became a central figure of Art Nouveau jewellery and glass, using nature, from dragonflies to grasses, as his models. Artists from outside of the traditional world of jewellery, such as Paul Follot, best known as a furniture designer, experimented with jewellery designs. Other notable French Art Nouveau jewellery designers included Jules Brateau and Georges Henry. In the United States, the most famous designer was Louis Comfort Tiffany, whose work was shown at the shop of Siegfried Bing and also at the 1900 Paris Exposition.

In Britain, the most prominent figure was the Liberty & Co. & Cymric designer Archibald Knox, who made a variety of Art Nouveau pieces, including silver belt buckles. C. R. Ashbee designed pendants in the shapes of peacocks. The versatile Glasgow designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh also made jewellery, using traditional Celtic symbols. In Germany, the centre for Jugendstil jewellery was the city of Pforzheim, where most of the German firms, including Theodor Fahrner, were located. They quickly produced works to meet the demand for the new style. [173]

Architecture and ornamentation Edit

Entrance of Hôtel Solvay in Brussels by Victor Horta (1898)

Detail of the facade of the Villa Majorelle by Henri Sauvage in Nancy (1901–02)

Thistles and curve-lined mascarons in decoration of Les Chardons building by Charles Klein in Paris (1903)

Whiplash motifs at Vitebsky railway station by Sima Mihash and Stanislav Brzozowski, Saint Petersburg (1904)

One of the mascarons made by Adamo Boari in the facade of the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Mexico (1904–1934)

Asymmetric facade with curved lines of De Beck building by Gustave Strauven in Brussels (1905)

Irises and mascaron at the facade of Schichtel building by Aloys Walter in Strasbourg, France (1905–06)

Art Nouveau architecture was a reaction against the eclectic styles that dominated European architecture in the second half of the 19th century. It was expressed through decoration: either ornamental (based on flowers and plants, e.g. thistles, [174] irises, [175] cyclamens, orchids, water lilies etc.) or sculptural (see the respective section below). While faces of people (or mascarons) are referred to ornament, the use of people in different forms of sculpture (statues and reliefs: see the respective section below) was also common in some forms of Art Nouveau. Before Vienna Secession, Jugendstil and the various forms of the National romantic style façades were asymmetrical, and often decorated with polychrome ceramic tiles. The decoration usually suggested movement there was no distinction between the structure and the ornament. [176] A curling or "whiplash" motif, based on the forms of plants and flowers, was widely used in the early Art Nouveau, but decoration became more abstract and symmetrical in Vienna Secession and other later versions of the style, as in the Palais Stoclet in Brussels (1905–1911). [177]

The style first appeared in Brussels' Hankar House by Paul Hankar (1893) and Hôtel Tassel (1892–93) of Victor Horta. The Hôtel Tassel was visited by Hector Guimard, who used the same style in his first major work, the Castel Béranger (1897–98). Horta and Guimard also designed the furniture and the interior decoration, down to the doorknobs and carpeting. In 1899, based on the fame of the Castel Béranger, Guimard received a commission to design the entrances of the stations of the new Paris Métro, which opened in 1900. Though few of the originals survived, these became the symbol of the Art Nouveau movement in Paris.

In Paris, the architectural style was also a reaction to the strict regulations imposed on building facades by Georges-Eugène Haussmann, the prefect of Paris under Napoleon III. Bow windows were finally allowed in 1903, and Art Nouveau architects went to the opposite extreme, most notably in the houses of Jules Lavirotte, which were essentially large works of sculpture, completely covered with decoration. An important neighbourhood of Art Nouveau houses appeared in the French city of Nancy, around the Villa Majorelle (1901–02), the residence of the furniture designer Louis Majorelle. It was designed by Henri Sauvage as a showcase for Majorelle's furniture designs. [176]

Entrance buildings in Parc Güell by Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona (1900–1914)

Many Art Nouveau buildings were included in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list as a part of their city centres (in Bern, Budapest, Lviv, Paris, Porto, Prague, Riga, Saint Petersburg, Strasbourg (Neustadt), Vienna). Along with them, there were buildings that were included in the list as separate objects:

  • Belgium: the works of Victor Horta (Hôtel Tassel, Hôtel Solvay, Hôtel van Eetvelde, Maison and Atelier Horta) [5] and the Stoclet Palace by Josef Hoffmann in Brussels
  • Spain: the works of Lluís Domènech i Montaner[105] (Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona), and the works of Antoni Gaudí[178] (Park Güell, Palau Güell, Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, Casa Milá, Casa Vicens in Barcelona Colònia Güell in Santa Coloma de Cervelló).

Sculpture Edit

Dancer with a Scarf by Agathon Léonard, made for the Manufacture nationale de Sèvres, France (1898)

Statue of polychrome terracotta by Lambert Escaler [ca] in Barcelona (1901)

High-relief of swans and statues in the interior of Aarhus Theatre by Karl Hansen Reistrup in Aarhus, Denmark (1897–1900)

High-relief of owls in Katajanokka by Georg Wasastjerna, Helsinki (1903)

Sculpture by Ernest Bussière in Nancy, France

Bas-relief in Sprudelhof by Heinrich Jobst in Bad Nauheim, Germany (1905–1911)

Ceramic relief and statue by Stanislav Sucharda in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic (1909–1912)

Gargoyle by Josep Plantada i Artiga in Tortosa, Catalonia, Spain (1915)

Atlantes, caryatids at Sankt-Mang-Brunnen by Georg Wrba in Kempten, Germany (1905)

Ceramic putti in Music conservatory of Barcelona by Eusebi Arnau (1916–28)

Sculpture was another form of expression for Art Nouveau artists, crossing with ceramics sometimes. The porcelain figurine Dancer with a Scarf by Agathon Léonard won recognition both in ceramics and in sculpture at the Paris Exposition in 1900. Sculptors of other countries also created ceramic sculptures: Bohemian Stanislav Sucharda and Ladislav Šaloun, Belgian Charles Van der Stappen and Catalan Lambert Escaler [ca] , who created statues of polychrome terracotta. Another notable sculptor of that time was Agustí Querol Subirats from Catalonia who created statues in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and Cuba. [179]

In architectural sculpture not only statues but also reliefs were used. Art Nouveau architects and sculptors found inspiration in animal motifs (butterflies, [180] peacocks, [181] swans, [182] owls, [183] bats, [184] dragons, [185] bears [186] ). Atlantes, [187] caryatids, [188] putti, [189] and gargoyles [190] were also used.

Furniture Edit

Wardrobe by Richard Riemerschmid, Germany (1902)

Dining room by Eugène Vallin, France (1903)

Furniture set by Victor Horta in the Hôtel Aubeque from Brussels (1902–1904)

"Snail chair" and other furniture by Carlo Bugatti, Italy (1902)

Chair by Gaspar Homar, Spain (1903)

"Dawn and Dusk" bed by Émile Gallé, France (1904)

Adjustable armchair Model 670 "Sitting Machine" designed by Josef Hoffmann, Austria (1904–1906)

Victor Horta, furniture from Turin (1902), in the collection of the King Baudouin Foundation.

Furniture design in the Art Nouveau period was closely associated with the architecture of the buildings the architects often designed the furniture, carpets, light fixtures, doorknobs, and other decorative details. The furniture was often complex and expensive a fine finish, usually polished or varnished, was regarded as essential, and continental designs were usually very complex, with curving shapes that were expensive to make. It also had the drawback that the owner of the home could not change the furniture or add pieces in a different style without disrupting the entire effect of the room. For this reason, when Art Nouveau architecture went out of style, the style of furniture also largely disappeared.

In France, the centre for furniture design and manufacture was in Nancy, where two major designers, Émile Gallé and Louis Majorelle had their studios and workshops, and where the Alliance des industries d'art (later called the School of Nancy) had been founded in 1901. Both designers based on their structure and ornamentation on forms taken from nature, including flowers and insects, such as the dragonfly, a popular motif in Art Nouveau design. Gallé was particularly known for his use of marquetry in relief, in the form of landscapes or poetic themes. Majorelle was known for his use of exotic and expensive woods, and for attaching bronze sculpted in vegetal themes to his pieces of furniture. Both designers used machines for the first phases of manufacture, but all the pieces were finished by hand. Other notable furniture designers of the Nancy School included Eugène Vallin and Émile André both were architects by training, and both designed furniture that resembled the furniture from Belgian designers such as Horta and Van de Velde, which had less decoration and followed more closely the curving plants and flowers. Other notable French designers included Henri Bellery-Desfontaines, who took his inspiration from the neo-Gothic styles of Viollet-le-Duc and Georges de Feure, Eugène Gaillard, and Édouard Colonna, who worked together with art dealer Siegfried Bing to revitalize the French furniture industry with new themes. Their work was known for "abstract naturalism", its unity of straight and curved lines, and its rococo influence. The furniture of de Feure at the Bing pavilion won a gold medal at the 1900 Paris Exposition. The most unusual and picturesque French designer was François-Rupert Carabin, a sculptor by training, whose furniture featured sculpted nude female forms and symbolic animals, particularly cats, who combined Art Nouveau elements with Symbolism. Other influential Paris furniture designers were Charles Plumet, and Alexandre Charpentier. [191] In many ways the old vocabulary and techniques of classic French 18th-century Rococo furniture were re-interpreted in a new style. [10]

In Belgium, the pioneer architects of the Art Nouveau movement, Victor Horta and Henry van de Velde, designed furniture for their houses, using vigorous curving lines and a minimum of decoration. The Belgian designer Gustave Serrurier-Bovy added more decoration, applying brass strips in curving forms. In the Netherlands, where the style was called Nieuwe Kunst or New Art, H. P. Berlag, Lion Cachet and Theodor Nieuwenhuis followed a different course, that of the English Arts and Crafts movement, with more geometric rational forms.

In Britain, the furniture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh was purely Arts and Crafts, austere and geometrical, with long straight lines and right angles and a minimum of decoration. [192] Continental designs were much more elaborate, often using curved shapes both in the basic shapes of the piece, and in applied decorative motifs. In Germany, the furniture of Peter Behrens and the Jugendstil was largely rationalist, with geometric straight lines and some decoration attached to the surface. Their goal was exactly the opposite of French Art Nouveau simplicity of structure and simplicity of materials, for furniture that could be inexpensive and easily mass-manufactured. The same was true for the furniture of designers of the Wiener Werkstätte in Vienna, led by Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann, Josef Maria Olbrich and Koloman Moser. The furniture was geometric and had a minimum of decoration, though in style it often followed national historic precedent, particularly the Biedemeier style. [193]

Italian and Spanish furniture design went off in their own direction. Carlo Bugatti in Italy designed the extraordinary Snail Chair, wood covered with painted parchment and copper, for the Turin International Exposition of 1902. In Spain, following the lead of Antoni Gaudí and the Modernismo movement, the furniture designer Gaspar Homar designed works that were inspired by natural forms with touches of Catalan historic styles. [120]

In the United States, furniture design was more often inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, or by historic American models, than by the Art Nouveau. One designer who did introduce Art Nouveau themes was Charles Rohlfs in Buffalo, New York, whose designs for American white oak furniture were influenced by motifs of Celtic Art and Gothic art, with touches of Art Nouveau in the metal trim applied to the pieces. [120]

The History Behind … Art Nouveau jewelry

The latest installment in National Jeweler’s antique and estate jewelry series examines Art Nouveau jewelry, which was created in France between 1895 and 1910.

New York--It was a short-lived period of design that focused on women and nature and was worn by only select members of society.

One example of Art Nouveau jewelry is this ivory face pendant, created around 1859 by French designer Leon Gariod.

It was Art Nouveau jewelry, created in France in the late 1800 and early 1900s, a time before the first World War, when mass manufacturing got its start and the absinthe was flowing.

Recently, Elyse Zorn Karlin, co-director of the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts, walked National Jeweler through this fascinating, but short-lived, period in jewelry design.

When and where was Art Nouveau jewelry popular? Art Nouveau (“new art”) jewelry was created in France between about 1895 and 1910, coming on the heels of the “overwrought” designs of the Victorian era (which ended with Queen Victoria’s death in 1901) and creating a striking contrast to the mainstream Edwardian designs of that time, Karlin said.

While jewelry with a similar aesthetic was being made in other countries during the same time period--for example, Jungenstil in Germany and Austria--true Art Nouveau jewelry is decidedly French.

It was a short-lived period in jewelry design, lasting only about 15 years, because of the onset of World War I and because the pieces were so over-the-top that people quickly lost interest in them.

Why was Art Nouveau jewelry created? Like all art, the zeitgeist of a particular era is written in the design of its jewelry.

Karlin said Art Nouveau jewelry was a reaction to a number of things going on in French society at that time, including women’s fight to secure more rights for themselves outside of the home by getting an education and a job.

The French in particular seemed to have an “inordinate” fear of what would happen to their society if women won the equal rights they were fighting for, she said.

This was due in part to the nation’s loss in the Franco-Prussian War, which was hugely humiliating and left France feeling vulnerable. The idea of women leaving to work outside the home stoked fears of the birth rate dropping, leaving the country without enough men to support future armies.

This is why, Karlin said, so much of Art Nouveau is woman-centric.

The pieces depict a lovely, unthreatening woman with flowing hair and a sweet face “fantasy” women, such as sexualized

Art Deco History Books

It was Bevis Hiller who wrote the first book on Art Deco history and design in 1968 and was most likely the first to use the term to describe the style of the 1920s and 30s. 

Nowadays, the style is understood to have begun around 1910 and continued until 1939 and the outbreak of WWII.  It encompasses the geometric, the exotic, the streamlined designs of the machine age and much more which is so difficult to describe, but so obvious when you see it. 

A mountain of Collectors guides and books has now been written analysing the influences which came together during the history of Art Deco, which has really been a dominant style for most of the 20th Century.  Decolish has it's own bookshop - click here to browse. 

Art Nouveau and Art Deco History - HISTORY

Art Nouveau was a vibrant but short-lived phenomenon that flourished but from 1890 to 1910 and touched on all the visual arts. Fashion and furniture, pots and paintings, books and buildings, no object was too small or too large, too precious or too ordinary, to be shaped by the designer working according to the ideals—moral and social as well as aesthetic—associated with the Art Nouveau, even though these ideals were never codified in a coherent manifesto and were inflected according to the place wherein they were practiced. Although historians may question the extent, chronologically and geographically, as well as the very validity of an Art Nouveau style, several characteristics that bind its representatives together may be credibly summarized: first, a desire to avoid the historicism so dominant during the 19th century, using as inspiration Nature in all its fertility and heterogeneity second, an emphasis on the expressive power of form and color and an aspiration to refine and elevate the material world third, a determination to erase the distinction between the fine and the applied arts, between the designer and the craftsperson, between art and every-day life and fourth, a willingness to experiment with materials, transforming the character of traditional ones, like stone, stained glass, and mosaic, and inventing new uses and shapes for recently developed ones, above all cast and wrought iron.

In architecture and the decorative arts, there is a heightened appreciation of the role of ornament, but ornament that was novel in its formal character and was not merely applied to, but integrated with, structure. If there were influences from the distant past in time and space, they did not lead to the imitative revivals so typical of the 19th century. Although Japanese, Islamic, and Javanese art, medieval architecture, and rococo interiors were studied, the lessons learned were assimilated into a creative synthesis intended to respond to the dawning of the new century. More immediate sources were the critic-theorists of the Gothic Revival, notably John Ruskin (1819–1900) and E.E.Viollet-le-Duc (1814–79), and figures associated with the English Arts and Crafts and Aesthetic Movements, such as William Morris (1834– 96). If their goals were at times interpreted in contradictory ways, the social and professional reforms these thinkers embraced anticipated many aspects of the positive revolution in design accomplished under Art Nouveau&rsquos aegis.

The drive to embrace the new and to break from the past is embodied in the very names that designate this fin-de-siècle phenomenon: Modern Style in France, Jugendstil in Germany, Modernismo in Spain, Nieuwe Kunst in the Netherlands, stil modern in Russia, and Art Nouveau in English-speaking lands. Its antiacademic stance is embodied in the term Secessionstil, used in Austria and Eastern Europe. The two Italian designations identify sources: stilo Liberty, suggesting both the quest for freedom and the English influence (the shop, Liberty&rsquos of London, was one of the earliest purveyors of goods that appealed to Art Nouveau sensibilities), and stilo floreale, implying formal genesis in the world of plants. Its detractors may have dubbed it the Vermicelli-stijl (Netherlands) or the Spook Style (Great Britain), but these epithets did not prevent its widespread adoption. Art Nouveau was at once international and regional. The principles of originality, organic integrity, and symbolic employment of ornament were translated according to national traditions. Especially in Scandinavia, Scotland, Switzerland, Russia, and Eastern Europe, National Romanticism was a component of Art Nouveau, and stylized peasant and vernacular motifs as well as the memory of local medieval buildings flavored its productions.

Yet another principle of differentiation is whether the language is predominately curvilinear or rectilinear. In Belgium, France, and Spain, the curvilinear branch, where symmetry and repetition were assiduously avoided and sinuous vegetal shapes informed both structure and ornament, held sway the rectilinear, where geometry controlled the stylization of natural forms, was preponderant in the Netherlands, the Austro-Hungarian empire, Scotland, and the United States. Nevertheless, one can instantly recognize in the particular national or local permutations the visual and tactile elements associated with the Art Nouveau. Art Nouveau architects sought the challenge of unprecedented building types, like rapid transit stations and department stores, and did not confine their commissions to domestic architecture, although private houses—Hill House, Helensborough (1902–04) by Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868–1928) the David Gamble house in Pasadena (1908) by Greene and Greene (Charles Sumner [1868–1957] and Henry Mather [1870– 1954])—and blocks of flats—Castel Beranger, Paris (1895–97) by Hector Guimard (1967–1942) Majolikahaus, Vienna (1898–99) by Otto Wagner (1841–1918)—provide some of the most noteworthy examples. Thus, the Paris Metro employed Guimard, and the Viennese Stadtbahn commissioned Wagner to create appropriate structures for this most contemporary of urban facilities. La Samaritaine, Paris (1903–05) by Frantz Jourdain (1847–1935) and Carson, Pirie, Scott, Chicago (1899–1904) by Louis Sullivan (1856–1924) testify to Art Nouveau&rsquos commercial attraction for shoppers.

Various paradoxes complicate the definition of Art Nouveau. Fantastic elements have led commentators to dub its disciples &ldquoirrational,&rdquo yet many of the architects were rationalist in their sophisticated approach to technology, just as most were motivated by a wish to democratize society. Some of its acolytes were fiercely individualistic, yet others worked cooperatively in communes and workshops. Its products frequently were extravagantly luxurious and made to order for rich patrons, yet many were mass-produced, and the vocabulary, as manifested in posters, tableware, and textiles, appealed markedly to popular taste. The antagonism between the machine-made and the handcrafted that raged during the 19th century was to some extent reconciled in the Art Nouveau. It was one of the first movements to be disseminated via specialized periodicals that enhanced its reach: Van Nu en Straks (Brussels-Antwerp, 1892), The Studio (London, 1893), Pan (Berlin, 1895), Dekorative Kunst (Munich, 1897), Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration (Darmstadt, 1897), L&rsquoArt Decorati f (Paris, 1898), and Ver Sacrum (Vienna, 1898) are only a few of the magazines that proselytized for Art Nouveau architecture and design.

The concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) was more potent than at any time since the 18th century. Thus, designers and artisans in many media played a crucial role, although the architect, who controlled the overall setting, was especially powerful. One of the most striking cases is the Belgian, Henri van de Velde (1863–1957), who began his career as a painter and in 1895, at his home in Uccle, established an influential decorating enterprise. He designed not only the building but everything within: furniture, table settings, wallpaper, lighting fixtures, tapestries—even his wife&rsquos clothing. Van de Velde went on to provide Samuel Bing, the entrepreneur whose Parisian shop was called &ldquoArt Nouveau,&rdquo with many of his trend-setting furnishings. A member of the avant-garde Belgian organization, Les Vingt (Les XX), which had ties to French symbolism and the English Arts and Crafts, Van de Velde was an important link between the various groups that fed into Art Nouveau in 1897 he moved to Germany and helped to crystallize the nascent Jugendstil. His career illustrates the cosmopolitan character of Art Nouveau.

One of the engines for the rapid spread of the Art Nouveau was the international exhibition. The expositions at Paris in 1900 and Turin in 1902, where almost every pavilion and its contents proclaimed Art Nouveau&rsquos ascendency, may be considered the high point of the movement. Other means of dissemination were the schools and museums of the applied arts founded during the late 19th century, educating artisans and the general public about the significance of the built environment. The Folkwang Museum in Hagen, Germany, and the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna followed the lead of London&rsquos Victoria and Albert Museum, established in the wake of the first international (Crystal Palace) exposition, of 1851, to display decorative arts worthy of emulation. A curiosity of the movement was the tendency for some of its adherents, including patrons, to launch workshops, firms, and even communities of like-minded souls. The Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunst und Handwerk (Munich, 1897), The Interior, (Amsterdam, 1900), and the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna, 1903) all produced decorative objects based on Art Nouveau principles.

Colonies where artists could jointly pursue the ideal of the Gesamtkunstwerk were initiated including the Künstlerkolonie at Darmstadt, Germany, where Grand Duke Ernst of Hesse in 1899 invited a number of designers to live and work. Arguably the birthplace of mature Art Nouveau is Brussels, and the figure most associated with its brilliance is Victor Horta. His Tassel House (1893) is widely accepted as the first example of Art Nouveau architecture: the sinuous curves of the organic two- and three-dimensional ornament and the artful blending of masonry and metal, tile and stained glass, were imitated throughout the continent. Horta&rsquos greatest work, the Maison de Peuple (1895–99 demolished), demonstrated the popular aspect of the style. Not only could wealthy industrialists indulge their taste for it, but their employees too recognized that it evoked their aspirations. Thus the Belgium Social Democratic Workers&rsquo Party elected the Art Nouveau as the appropriate language for its new headquarters. The striking building, emblazoned with the names of Karl Marx and other socialists, seems to grow from its hilly site, its contours undulating as if to conform to contextual dictates. The iron frame used in combination with brick and stone permits a free plan with spaces of varied heights and dimensions, perfect for accommodating the program&rsquos differing functions, revealed on the exterior through the individualized fenestration nothing is regular or repetitive. The main door resembles a mysterious cave or mouth that draws one into its recesses, empathy being a quality exploited by many Art Nouveau architects.

Comparable in terms of naturalistic appearance, irregular footprint, and bold exploration of kinesthetic and emotional responses to form and space are the Casa Mila (1906–10) in Barcelona by Antonio Gaudí, and the Humbert de Romans building in Paris (1897–1901 destroyed) by Guimard. Like the Belgian, the Catalan and the Frenchman were indebted to Viollet-le-Duc, especially his projects using the new material of iron, but where Viollet was still in thrall to his Gothic sources, this later trio subsumes them into a totally novel vocabulary derived from flora and fauna.

The devout Gaudí believed that &ldquonature is God&rsquos architect&rdquo (Collins, 1960), whereas Guimard saw Nature as &ldquoa great book from which to derive inspiration,&rdquo replacing the archaeological tomes of the revivalists. The more rectilinear version of Art Nouveau retains nature as the basic source of imagery but emphasizes the geometric substructure underlying organic forms, as described with particular insight by the German theorist Gottfried Semper (1803–79), and symmetry is not rejected. Works by H.P.Berlage, Wagner, Olbrich, and Josef Hoffmann belong in this camp, as do those by designers in Britain and the United States with roots directly in the Arts and Crafts movement (e.g., C.R.Ashbee, Mackintosh, Charles Harrison Townsend, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the brothers Greene). Right angles and straight lines prevail, the stylized decorative motifs are less intuitive and more cerebral, and metal structure, although occasionally present, is subordinated to more conventional materials like wood, stone, and brick, the latter often plastered. Most of the architects of High Art Nouveau turned away from the style by the end of the first decade of the 20th century, those from the curvilinear branch toward Expressionism, those practicing the rectilinear version toward modernism or academicism in France and Austria, the Art Nouveau smoothly metamorphosed into Art Deco. In the second half of the 20th century, sporadic Art Nouveau revivals have occurred. Short its reign may have been, but Art Nouveau&rsquos spell endures.

Sennott R.S. Encyclopedia of twentieth century architecture, Vol.1 (A-F). Fitzroy Dearborn., 2004.



After its decisive rejection in the first decade of the 20th century, scholarly and popular interest in Art Nouveau evaporated (although the course of Art Deco in many ways recapitulated that of Art Nouveau), thanks in part to a revival of historicism but more definitively to the triumph of international modernism, with its proscription against ornament. Then in 1959 came the groundbreaking exhibition at New York&rsquos Museum of Modern Art. Whether renewed attention was driven by the exhibition or whether the show itself was prompted by a sudden collecting frenzy for Art Nouveau objects is difficult to ascertain, but what is clear is that the Art Nouveau gradually achieved a respectability that it has not relinquished. The MoMA catalogue was important also because it included architecture, although most subsequent publications continued to emphasize the decorative arts until 1979, when Frank Russell edited a volume devoted to architecture. Since then, the vital significance of architecture to the movement as a whole has been recognized, and surveys do not fail to include buildings that fit within the canon.

Amaya, Mario, Art Nouveau, London: Studio Vista, 1966

Borsi, Franco, Bruxelles 1900, Brussels: M.Vokaer, 1974

Borsi, Franco, and Ezio Godoli, Paris 1900, New York: Rizzoli, 1977

Brunhammer, Yvonne, Art Nouveau Belgium, France, Houston: Rice University, 1976

Collins, George, Antonio Gaudí, New York: Braziller, 1960

Cremonan, Italo, Il Tempo dell&rsquoArt Nouveau: Mode rn Style, Sezession, Jugendstil, Arts and Crafts, Floreale, Liberty, Florence: Vallechi, 1964

Lambourne, Lionel, Utopian Craftsmen, Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1980

Pevsner, Nicolaus, and J.M.Richards (editors), The Anti-Rationalists, London: The Architectural Press, 1973

Rheims, Morris, The Flowering of Art Nouveau, translated by Patrick Evans, New York: Abrams, [1966] Russell, Frank (editor), Art Nouveau Architecture, London: Academy Editions, 1979

Selz, Peter, and Mildred Constantine (editors), Art Nouveau—Art and Design at the Turn of the Century, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1975

Silverman, Deborah, Art Nouveau in Fin-de -Siècle France: Politics, Psychology, Style, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989

Thiébaut, Philippe, and Bruno Girveau, Art Nouveau Architecture, London: Thames and Hudson, 2000

Tschudi-Madsen, Stephen, Art Nouveau, London: Thames and Hudson, 1967

Varnedoe, Kirk, Vienna 1900: Art, Architecture & Design, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1986

Weisberg, Gabriel, and Elizabeth Menon, Art Nouveau: A Research Guide for Design Reform i n France, Belgium, England and the United States, New York: Garland, 1998

History of Art Nouveau Silver

Hector Guimard (1867 - 1942) was the French architect who designed the Parisian Metro entrances. The photograph above shows the entrance of Station d'Etoile. Sadly this structure is no longer there but eighty eight of these structures remain.


In France Art Nouveau was known as Guimard after this great architect. In Italy it was called Stile Floreale (floral style), in Austria - Sezessionstil (secession style), Spain - Modernisme, Germany Jugendstil (youth style).

From 1820 to 1890 French silver was dominated by what can be described best as ‘eclecticism’ an infusion of influences of all the 19th century styles from the Neo-classical forms to the florid, extravagant styles which culminated in Art Nouveau Spectacular Naturalism, where natural forms & art make you almost forget the materials used, like the door at La Maison Lavirotte. It is as though the form becomes more important that the materials used. Art Nouveau captures one's attention like no other movement, not even Art Deco.

Jules Lavirotte (1864–1929) was the architect who designed La Maison Lavirotte. This entrance shows the flamboyant, intricate nature of Art Nouveau.

The most gorgeous fully hallmarked sterling silver Art Nouveau figural dog seal. This beautiful seal has the most ornate foliate motifs in relief. This well made antique is fashioned in such a way that every part is decorated, the surfaces rendered so that no finger-prints or marks show, except for the engraved stamp at the base which bears the initial L M in Gothic script. Measures 7 cm & weighs 15 grams. More antique silver gifts.

After 1850 silversmiths began to collaborate with skilled enamel workers, sculptors & draughtsmen. These remarkable pieces reflect this highly productive period of creativity in France. The same can be said of English silversmiths also.

An exquisite 9 ct gold Edwardian seed pearl and Aquamarine pendant. A glorious Art Nouveau piece which is fashioned into a heart shape. Tiny seed pearls adorn this pendant and they are set to form the middle of floral motifs and berries on the leaves. Traditionally Aquamarine is the birthstone for March.

Vanities during this era were not designed to be portable. They were dressing table accessories. The lid of this beautiful Art Nouveau powder bowl is adorned with a clam-shell, scroll work, flora & foliate. This design continues through-out the whole antique - executed with perfect balance and symmetry. The lid and base have the centurion mark prefixed with the numeral 1 denoting .950 silver and the maker's mark. M easures 5 cm & weigh 26.9 grams.

Silver was decorated with allegorical & mythological figures. Well known proverbs were turned into objet d’art. For example La Fontaine's Le Renard et les Raisins . see the vesta case depicting the famous fable where the fox eyeing some grapes that he just can not manage to reach, states sullenly that they were too green anyway - ‘ ILS SONT TROP VERT’.

Silversmiths perfected their art to such a level where the materials became transformed. It is hard to comprehend until you see the door at La Maison Lavirotte. The style dominates so much that this is more art than it is an entrance to a building. We are in awe. The phrase Art Nouveau Spectacular Naturalism was used to sum this up.

The case below is so moulded that even the hinges, the edges, the area around the thumb catch was worked on to give the appearance that this was something natural. This is not just a case where an engraving has been worked on to the lid or base or both. The whole silver piece is transformed.

This Emile Grénet case was made in the 1800s. He was active in 1888 but very little is known about this maker & so far we have not been able to find any other pieces made by him. Surely there must be some but France suffered such great upheaval during both world wars & so many pieces of fine art disappeared & company records were reduced to dust.

The case is made in the great tradition of 19th century French silversmiths who are famed for their portrayal of fables, allegories & proverbs. To find a case like this illustrating probably the most well known proverb ‘Mighty oaks from little acorns grow’ is a dream come true & when you hold the case you realize that Emile Grénet has turned silver into nature - look at every edge, the area by the catch, the whole case has been transformed. Not for this silversmith a lid & base with engraved images but the whole external case is a fusion of nature with the high grade silver. This is one piece that s hould never be cleaned as it would ruin it. The light & shade finish off the case perfectly.

A nineteenth century French sterling silver set of repoussage cigarette and vesta cases which are both adorned with manticores. This high quality set was made by the master silversmith Charles Murat. The choice of a mythical hybrid to adorn these cases makes them highly collectible. The description of the manticore varies from the era to the country of the story teller. Even today manticores feature in highly popular books and films, such as the Harry Potter series. Manticores have been described as having the head and body of a lion / lioness, the tongue and tail of a serpent or lizard and the wings of a dragon or bird. In this instance they have the head and body of a lioness, a lizard like tongue and tail and the wings of a bird. In some cases manticores have human heads. The fronts of these cases have splendid manticores looking very fierce indeed. Just below the creatures are shield like cartouches and the whole repoussage decoration is superb, ornate and complex. The backs of the cases have the the same attention to detail and incorporated into the design emerging from the foliate, the head of the manticore - sleek, lion-like and fierce. Both cases are fully hallmarked and bear the maker's mark of Charles Murat. The cigarette case measures 8 cm x 6.3 cm & weighs 61.6 grams. The vesta case measures 4.6 cm x 3.2 cm & weighs 18.7 grams.