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What Is Art Nouveau? What Does It Mean? History and Characteristics of Art Nouveau

03.05.2021
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what is art nouveau

What is Art Nouveau?

Means “new art” – and it was so, at the time of origin. Art nouveau period: Art Nouveau is one of the names for a diverse style that existed from about 1885 to 1914. Now, due to the fact that English-language literature actively uses the term “modern” in the literal sense – that is, “modern”, it is preferable to use the generally accepted English-language terminology – «Art Nouveau».

Art Nouveau Meaning

Art Nouveau is a multi-genre style that emerged as a result of the creative processing of the cultural heritage of the past by artists. Curved and wavy lines became its characteristic feature, giving the image grace and airy lightness. Clear contours, flying shapes, and dynamic patterns make the Art Nouveau style well recognizable.

Define Art Nouveau

Art nouveau is a national style, fragmented and did not become international – this is evidenced even by the absence of a single name – in each country it is unique, respectively, art nouveau never became a Great Style

Art Nouveau is exquisitely erotic. Every bend in the ornament.

Where Did Art Nouveau Originate?

art nouveau history

Art Nouveau developed simultaneously in all European and American schools of painting, which led to differences in the definitions of style. The term Art Nouveau (French for “new art”) took root in France after a store was opened in the center of Paris under this name, where goods from the East were sold. In England, the definition of modern style was more often used, in Belgium – “Liberty style”, in Germany – “Art Nouveau”. Art Nouveau. Gustav Klimt. “Adele Bloch-Bauer II” Art Nouveau incorporates the best traditions of Japanese engraving: precise decorative lines, lack of unnecessary details, balance between the background and the main image. Curved lines and ornaments with elongated elements created the effect of movement.

Art Nouveau History

An inexhaustible source of ideas for decoration was the flora and fauna with an abundance of unusual forms that provide rich material for creative imagination. Art Nouveau painting has a number of common features: the planar nature of the drawing; contrasting color combinations; fluid shapes and whimsical silhouettes; decorativeness of the image; oriental motives in the plots. The impetus for the art nouveau origin was given by the English school of painting. Smooth contours, smoothed shapes, and ornaments are found already in the work of the Pre-Raphaelites. Artist and art theorist John Ruskin was the first to call for a rejection of the values ​​of Victorian culture and return to the organic natural forms characteristic of medieval artisans. The first example of Art Nouveau is the painting “Peacock Room”, executed in 1877 by the Anglo-American artist James Whistler.

Art Nouveau Characteristics

Art Nouveau painting has a number of common features:

  • the planar nature of the drawing;
  • contrasting color combinations;
  • fluid shapes and whimsical silhouettes;
  • decorativeness of the image;

On the basis of curved lines, the concept of a continuous “flowing” space is being developed, combining the utilitarian function of architectural structures, furniture, household items with their construction, external decor, and material processing technology. This innovative concept led to the integrity and organic nature of the “new style”.

After Paris, the second center of French Art Nouveau was the Nancy school, headed by E. Galle, L. Majorelle, and the Daum brothers. The Art Nouveau style is interesting in that a completely rational idea of ​​harmony of function, design, and external form is combined in it with fantastic, whimsical, even mystical, and therefore it can be considered one of the manifestations of Romanticism in the art of the turn of the XIX-XX centuries.

Art Nouveau Inspiration

define art nouveau

For Art Nouveau, this is Gothic, or rather the interpretation of Gothic by the masters of the art and craft movement, the art of contemporary Japan, partly Ancient Egypt and folk art – and the influence of the latter is very, very large – to such an extent that in fact in some countries the art nouveau style became an expression of national revival and self-affirmation.

Art Nouveau Facts

At the early stage, the style was formed mainly in graphics and applied arts. The birth of the picturesque Art Nouveau took place in France and coincided with the beginning of the decline of impressionism. In the late 1880s, paintings appeared where the features of a new trend were clearly traced. One of such works is Vincent Willem van Gogh’s painting “Starry Night”, in which the movement of heavenly bodies resembles an ornament, and the dynamics are created by spirally twisted lines.

Art Nouveau women are spiritually anaemic or languidly plump, and the endlessly flowing waves of their hair are generally a trademark of the style. And, by the way, one gets the impression that they are all tall. Men, on the other hand, look like eternal youths, at best.

Since its inception, Art Nouveau loves a smooth, long, almost endless line – it is not for nothing that the great Morris, seeing the emergence of a new style, gave it the name “organic”.

Art Nouveau Influences

The development of Art Nouveau was greatly influenced by Paul Gauguin, who peaked in the 1890s. The Tahitian cycle of paintings, which became an example of the master’s mature style, belongs to this period. Gauguin’s masterpieces are distinguished by a pronounced decorative effect, accentuated contours, an abundance of planes painted in one color. Ornamental elements are present everywhere – on clothing, objects, and in the landscape surrounding the Tahitians.

Art Nouveau Background

The subject world of Art Nouveau is extremely non-technological – rich decor and an abundance of smooth viscous lines presuppose the manual labor of a highly qualified artisan – practically a co-author of the artist – in this Art Nouveau is a worthy child of “arts and crafts”. Everything bears the imprint of the author’s personality – the design is total, a thing from one set transferred to another interior – even designed in the same style – looks alien. Art Nouveau interiors resemble jigsaw puzzles – deprived of one of their parts, they are incomplete, replacement is unacceptable.

Austrian artist Gustav Klimt was interested in design and architecture, which greatly influenced his work. Over time, the figures in his works became extremely flat, and the background turned into a kind of mosaic, decorated with gilding and intricate patterns. The artist created mesmerizing and surprisingly sensual female images.

Art Nouveau Elements

art nouveau period

On decorative panels by the Czech painter Alfons Maria Mucha, women appear surrounded by intricately intertwined flowers and plants. The artist’s posters were a huge success, where exquisite colors were combined with complex spiral patterns.

How Is the Style of Art Nouveau Best Described?

Despite the difference in techniques and techniques, the works of Art Nouveau masters share common features. Instead of a small easel painting, they strove to create a pictorial panel, where they conveyed the meaning of the plot with the help of color spots, linear rhythm, ornaments, highlighted silhouettes, and emphasized decorativeness. Art Nouveau. Alphonse Mucha. “Spring”

Art Nouveau Movement

Art Nouveau lost popularity by 1910 and was gradually replaced by new trends. Elements of style can be found today in modern painting and arts and crafts. The Very Important Lot antique auction is an opportunity to purchase paintings directly from artists.

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