Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau was a decorative art style that flourished from the 1890’s until about 1910.

History of Art Nouveau

The art nouveau movement originated in France, but spread through the rest of Europe, the United States, and Australia.

Art nouveau means “new art” in French.

The term came from the name of the Parisian art gallery, Maison de l’art Nouveau, which exhibited works created in the art nouveau style.

The art nouveau movement has roots in Romanticism, Symbolism, and the British Arts and Crafts movement.

The Art Nouveau Style

Art nouveau was an ornate, elaborate style of art, characterised by long, flowing lines that twisted in a snakelike fashion.

Art made in this style often depicted flowers, leaves and tendrils, and the hair and curvaceous bodies of beautiful women.

The art nouveau style was seen mainly in glassware, jewellery, and other ornamental objects, but the style was also seen in drawings, paintings, book illustrations, and posters.

Did you know art nouveau even influenced architecture?

Art nouveau was a response to the Industrial Revolution. Artists during this period wanted to create an international decorative style that was appropriate for the modern age.

Art nouveau artists strived to unify all forms of art by providing a physical and emotional connection to music, literature, architecture, visual arts and design.

Some artists used new materials and mass produced while others used more expensive materials and valued high craftsmanship. Despite the difference in opinion, artists of the art nouveau movement believed all art should be in harmony.

Noteworthy Art Nouveau Artists

The drawings of English artists Aubrey Beardsley and Walter Crane are excellent examples of art nouveau. Toulouse-Lautrec of France created posters in the art nouveau style as well.

Emile Galle of France and Louis Comfort Tiffany of the United States created colourful art nouveau glassware.

Other significant art nouveau artists include artist Alphonse Mucha of the Czech Republic, painter Gustav Klimt of Austria, architect Victor Horta of Belguim, architect Antonio Gaudi of Spain, and jewellery designer Rene Lalique of France.

Art Nouveau Influences in Australia

Although no significant artists in Australia are linked to the art nouveau movement, many buildings throughout Australia were designed in the art nouveau style.

In Melbourne, the Victorian Arts Society, Milton House, Melbourne Sports Depot, City Baths, Conservatory of Music and Melba Hall, Paston Building, and Empire Works Building all reflect the art nouveau style.

The Downfall of the Art Nouveau Movement

Because of the expense of materials, art nouveau was replaced with art deco at the start of World War I.

Other Art Movements

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post :
Next post :

Latest posts

  • Choosing a Visual Arts Bachelor Degree in Australia

    Pursuing a Visual Arts Degree in Australia is an exciting time I remember all too well! However, navigating the rather diverse landscape of artistic education can be overwhelming as well as thrilling, which is why we’ve put together this guide to help you choose the right Visual Arts degree for you! This guide is crafted…

    Read more

  • Charles Conder (1868 – 1909)

    Having been referred to as “the last bohemian”, the unconventional life of the gifted artist, Charles Conder has made him one of the most intriguing artists of the late 19th century. Leaving a lasting impression on the Australian and international art world he is considered to have played a large role in establishing the great…

    Read more