Introduction to Art Nouveau

art nouveau Aubrey BeardsleyArt Nouveau is an international style used in art, architecture and design that became popular in the beginning of the 20th Century. The style is characterized by its flowing and curvilinear designs that incorporate floral and other plant-inspired accents. Its name was said to have been derived from the name of a shop in Paris that exhibited art pieces that followed this approach in design and style.

Art Nouveau was said to have been introduced by Siegfried Bing, a German art dealer in Paris. He owned the shop called Maison de l’Art Nouveau, which showcased the artworks of artists with similar styles that later on became known as the Art Nouveau movement. It was in fact, from his shop that the name of the movement was derived from. The movement further spread out into other countries aside from France during the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s.

The Art Nouveau style is characterized by its dynamic and flowing curved whiplash lines. The style also features the use of hyperbolas and parabolas. The designs used can be seen as forms that seem to spring to life and transform into having their plant-derived features.

In art, the movement was followed by notable artists like Aubrey Beardsley, Alphonse Mucha, Edward Burne-Jones, and Gustav Klimt. The movement can be associated by the styles of the Pre- Raphaelites and the Symbolism movement. But unlike Symbolists, Art Nouveau has that distinct visual look. Its artists are also open to the use of new materials, machined surfaces and abstraction for the sake of pure design.

Art Nouveau is considered to be a total art style. This means that it does not just cover just one section of a design aspect but a hierarchy of them. Art Nouveau has covered other types of artistic design including architecture, interior design, decorative arts, and a range of visual arts.

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