Art Nouveau is a beautiful style of art which became popular during 1890 to 1910. This really means "New Art" and was applied initially in the decorative arts. Why do I like this style so much?
Because it was basically inspired by natural forms, with long flowing forms and curved lines that seemingly fits into any décor.
The Enchanting Style of Today
Art Nouveau (pronounced “art nuvo”) embraced many other forms including interior design, architecture, (see NY Airport) jewelry, furniture, utensils, lamp shades and illustrations.
It was supposed to be a so-called "total art" that "fits in with everything that is natural." This "New Art" was succeeded by the "Modernist Style" of the 20th Century but it is still very popular today.
This style was called "The Whiplash" style as it had "sudden and violent curves" which is a load of nonsense! If you have a look at some of the illustrations here, you will see nothing like a "whiplash" as the curves are all gentle and quite subtle. No violence here buddy!
The famous William Morris was really the forerunner of this style of art and to a lesser degree Aubrey Beardsley. Also following along towards the end of the 19th Century was Katsushika Hokusai who designed beautiful illustrations of this "New Art."
Many other artists adopted this form from James McNeill Whistler, Mucha, Klimpt, to Emile Galle with classical flowing lines.
In my opinion, if you look at the original Greek Acanthus scrolls flowing along with nature, this New Art style goes back quite a long way and may have had considerable influence on the French when they "developed" or created this style!
The human form was used extensively in this new art form by artists like Klimpt and Edward Burne-Jones with distinctive frames around stylistic portraits...see the illustrations here how these became well-known and copied by every artist of the time and his dog!
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