artnouveau

Art is the way of life

 

Art Nouveau ('new art') was an aesthetic style, fashionable in art, architecture, interior design, jewellery, ceramics and textiles in 1890-1910 in Europe and North America. Characterised by 'extreme' curved flowing lines, ornamentation and asymmetric compositions, it was inspired by organic forms of floral patterns of artist William Morris and flat perspectives and colours of Japanese wood block prints. 'Floral', 'lily', 'noodle' and 'wave' were the most popular 'organic forms' of Art Nouveau. Artists sculpted, curved, drew and painted using technological innovations and materials like glass and iron. "Art should be a way of life" was the Art Nouveau philosophy, and many indeed lived in art nouveau houses with art nouveau furniture, silverware, fabrics and ceramics, the monuments that are now recognised as 'significant work of human creative genius in art, thought and society' (UNESCO). By the start of World War I, the Art Nouveau designs, that could be expensive to produce, got replaced by Art Deco, a style more faithful to the industrial aesthetics.

 

 

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Daydream (detail), 1897

Alphonse Mucha

 

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