311 artworks, 5 artists
Ornamentalism (lat. ornamentum — “equipment, weapons”) is a modernist art style, which depicted the objects of reality as a set of rhythmic patterns, waves, symbols, signs, and geometric shapes. The artists drew their ideas from exquisite interlacing of flowers and patterns from the art by Renaissance artists, Egypt and Ancient Greece, Japanese artists, and ancient Celtic motifs. Ornamentalism was formed from legends and folk motifs, ancient myths and archetypes. Its rhythm and attempts to communicate with the viewer at the subconscious level demonstrated a refined and aesthetic picture of the world.

The ornament technique in decorating household items was known at the dawn of human civilization, when a person felt the need to capture reality and learned to draw. Ornamentalism was present in the form of embroidery, drawing on fabric and houses. The elements of patterns carried symbolism and often an encrypted message or idea. With the development of art, the ornament became more refined and expressive. Many modernist artists have used ornamentalism for figuratively structuring paintings. For example, canvases by Gustav Klimt were created using the so-called “psychological” ornament, their colour and geometric rhythm evoked a deep emotional response in the viewer. Floral ornaments were widely used in the works by Alphonse Mucha. The works by Art Nouveau artists containing the ornamentalist techniques are filled with flowing, natural forms resembling the stems and flowers of plants, with emphasis on linear contours.

In modern painting, these techniques have again found their application. Russian artist Alexey Akindinov interpreted the approaches to using ornament in painting, creating a personal concept of ornamentalism with the effect of highlighting reality through patterns.