Art Nouveau

8,672 artworks, 1,351 artists
Art Nouveau is an art movement in the decorative, applied and visual arts, and architecture, which reached the peak of its popularity within the last decades of the 19th — early 20th centuries (before the First World War in 1914). The Art Nouveau works sought to combine artistic and applied functions, to involve all areas of human activity into the sphere of beauty.

The main characteristic features of Art Nouveau became the fluidity of lines and forms, decorativeness, opulent ornaments and decorations focused on plants and natural motifs.The colour palette had no restrictions, but hushed tones prevailed.

Art Nouveau subjects abound in symbolism and allegories. Even the portraits of real people were painted as illustrations for theatrical and mythological acts, similar in their subjects to the earlier European style, romanticism.

England is considered the birthplace of Art Nouveau. The art movement quickly spread to continental Europe and in just a few years it conquered almost all countries — from France and Spain to Russia, it also gained popularity in the USA. In each country, it was influenced by national cultures and traditions, thus it was called differently: “Secession” (Austria), “Tiffany” (USA), “Art Nouveau” (France), “Jugendstil” (Germany) “Modern style” (England), “Liberty style” (Italy), “Modernismo” (Spain), “Nieuwe Kunst” (Netherlands), “Style sapin” (Switzerland).

The rapidly developing printing and photography technologies contributed much to the spread of the Art Nouveau, especially it influenced the artistic decisions of graphic illustrations in books and advertising posters.

The First World War derailed all attempts of Art Nouveau to introduce the viewer into the domain of beautiful. However, Art Nouveau in many respects influenced the further development of art, and its echoes sound in the works of symbolists, neo-romanticists and even surrealists.

Art Nouveau artists:
Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, Aubrey Beardsley, Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer, Ferdinand Hodler, Jan Toorop, Franz von Stuck, Max Kurzweil, Stanisław Wyspiański, to some extent — William Morris, Felix Vallotton, Maurice Denis. Also, Mikhail Vrubel, Viktor Vasnetsov, Konstantin Somov, Alexander Benois, Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Vsevolod Maksimovich, Mikhail Zhuk.

Significant Art Nouveau paintings:
Hermann Obrist – Cyclamen or The Whiplash (1892)
Gustav Klimt - The Kiss (Lovers, 1908)
Alphonse MuchaGismonda (1894)