Art Nouveau’ was and remains the ornamental style of art that flourished between 1890 and 1910 throughout Europe and the Western World. Art Nouveau is characterised by its use of a long, graceful, animate line and was employed in architecture forms, interior designjewellery, glass making, posters, and illustrations. It was a deliberate creation of a new style of art. The term Art Nouveau was coined in Belgium, Spain and Paris. 

The World Of Art Nouveau

The unique ornamental value of Art Nouveau was its surging and irregular lines, taking the form of flowers and buds, vine fronds, wings of insects, and delicate, natural objects of profound beauty. In the graphic arts, the line subordinated all other pictorial elements. Form, texture, the white space, hues of gorgeous distinction were found in latter halves in its making. 

Architecture and the three-dimensional form became overwhelmingly rhythmic as a work of art, stunning fusions of ornaments, structural allies, adored combinations of decorative being. It showed this synthesis of ornament and structure that combined materials like metal, shards of glass, ceramics, and brickwork. The method was directly opposed to the traditional architectural values of reason, clear lines and base. There were a great number of artists and designers who worked in the Art Nouveau style. Specimens of the more prominent were the Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, working with geometric lines, Belgian architects Henry van de Velde and Victor Horta, French architect Hector Guimard, American glassmaker Louis Comfort Tiffany, French furniture and ironwork designer Louis Majorelle, Czechoslovakian graphic designer-artist Alphonse Mucha, French glass and jewellery designer René Lalique, Sculptor Antonio Gaudí, possibly the most original artist of the movement. He went beyond the necessity of lines to transform buildings into warped, dimensional, visually pleasing organic constructions.


Image Credit:

After 1910, Art Nouveau appeared limited and was generally abandoned as a distinct decorative style. The 1960s saw the style as a rehabilitation, in part, by major exhibitions organised at the ‘Museum of Modern Art’ in New York in 1959 and at ‘The Musée’, and ‘Victoria & Albert Museum’ in London in 1966. These elaborate exhibitions elevated the status of the movement, seen by critics as a passing trend to the level of other major Modern Art Movements of the nineteenth century. Its fancies, interactions and obsession, however, remains in tranquillity, and owes the situation to supporters of its exceptional style based in history.

The beautiful and scripturally elevated medium created a mutability of old-fashioned art in newer forms and standards. The colours, Avant Garde style, quirky bulbs, burlesque-like confidence and diverse beauty made it appear in cinematic sessions of gravity. The fluxes of the movement were then revitalised in Pop Art and Fashion Statements. In the prevalent domains, the flowery organic lines of Art Nouveau were revived as a new mood-altering bravura in fashionable art, modern art systems, and in the typography used on rock and pop album covers and in commercials, buildings, postcards, keepsakes, decorative pieces, and its own world view.