The History of Art Nouveau

October 13, 2021
Art wall 147

Art Nouveau is a design style that is commonly used in architecture, applied art, and fine art. Its popularity rose in the 1890s until the beginning of World War I. The goal of the design style was to modernize the design and move away from the eclectic historical styles that were popular during that period. In fact, the concept of Art Nouveau originated from the stems and blossoms of plants. Read on to learn more about Art Nouveau and how it all began. 

A brief history of Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau was based on the name of an art gallery in Paris, “Maison de l’Art Nouveau”. The gallery was owned by an art collector, Siegfried Bing. The gallery featured artworks that were created in the Art Nouveau style. Along with modern furniture pieces, tapestries, and other decorative items during the 1900 Exposition Universelle made the place popular that the name of the place was used to denote the design style. 

Simultaneously, Les Vingt and La Libre Esthetique promoted the design style in Belgium. While the magazine, Youth, promoted the design style in Germany. It was an illustrated magazine on art and lifestyle in Munich. 

Though the exact origin of Art Nouveau is not really determined. Many art historians agree that the origin is linked with the English Arts and Crafts Movement. It also has influences from Celtic art to Japonism. The beauty of Art Nouveau is that it can be applied to other disciplines like architecture, interior design, fine arts, glassware, and illustrations

Its worldwide popularity is short-lived, however, because of the rise of the Art Deco movement. It made its comeback in the 1960s. The emergence of Art Nouveau is the response to the traditional design style. The goal was to do away with the traditional ones and modernize the concepts and ideas in the decorative arts. The design style is inspired by the organic and geometric forms, evolving elegant designs that mimic the stems and blossoms of plants. The beauty of Art Nouveau features lines and curves as well as colors and hues. 

Traits of Art Nouveau

Here are some of the traits of Art Nouveau that will make a difference to your homes:

  • The design of the furniture pieces is styled with flowers, leaves, buds, and roots. 
  • Designers have the freedom and flexibility to choose the color as long as they are light.
  • The floor is usually made from hardwood that is stained and varnished with the addition of an oriental or colorful rug. 
  • Tiffany lamps and stained glass windows create the atmosphere. 

Achieve the design style in your home

For homes that employ the design style, it is common to see elongated curves and linear shapes. The style is influenced by nature such as flowers, spider webs, and feathers. Here are some ideas and tips to achieve Art Nouveau interior to your home. 

  • Wall colors – usually the colors of the wall are soft and muted mixed with palettes of gray, mustard, brown, olive, and lilac.
  • Floors – parquet floor or wood finish will achieve the classic appearance, whitewash the floor, or mid-toned wood. 
  • Lighting – Tiffany lamps were the popular ones during the period.
  • Decors – add curved or straight lines which are geared upwards from the ground. Stained glasses can be used with the same design which resembles blossoms of plants.