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Art Nouveau

Carole L Chesser 
CAT 111 - 2009
The Movement
•• Art Nouveau began in Europe in the 1890s
•• It was also known as Jugenstil, Stile Liberty, and Modernista
•• Primarily a Decorative style, it was inspired by Rococo forms and
based on sinuous curves
•• Art Nouveau was born out of the Industrial Revolution and the
new urban lifestyles that came along with it
•• It was influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement in England and
the US and by the Symbolist movement in France
••In return, it influenced Modernism, De Stijl (or Neoplasticism),
Contstructivism, Suprematism, the Bauhaus and Art Deco Parure de Corsage, Alphonse Mucha
c. 1900

Carole L Chesser 
CAT 111 - 2009

•• The goal of the movement was to raise craft to the level of Fine
•• its proponents held that art and life were one and the same
•• Art Nouveau is often thought of in reference to poster art, but its
influence was felt much more broadly, with impact on wrought-iron
work, architecture, furniture, jewelry, glasswork and typography
•• Originally, Art Nouveau was intended to be popular art, both
available to and affordable by everyone, but it became so intricate
and extravagant that only the wealthy were able to afford it

Jane Avril, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec


Carole L Chesser 
CAT 111 - 2009

•• Some famous architects who were influential in the Art
Nouveau movement were Antoni Gaudi, Louis Sullivan and
Victor Horta
•• Antoni Gaudi had a nearly maniacal avoidance of straight lines.
He did not use flat surfaces and his buildings are recognizable
in their assymetry.
•• It was Louis Sullivan who coined the phrase “Form follows
•• Louis Sullivan thought of buildings as being comparable to the
human body - with flesh and muscle attached to bone. He is
best known for designing the Wainwright Building in St. Louis Grand Hotel Europa, Bedrich Bendelmayer and Alois Dryak

Carole L Chesser 
CAT 111 - 2009

•• Victor Horta was a Belgian architecht who studied in Paris
•• Some of his more prominent buildings are the Palais des Beasux-
Arts, the Solvay House, the Max Hallet House, the Tassel house
and his own Horta House

"Even I am amazed to see plans, elevations and details

spurt forth spontaneously from the ends of my pencils."
-Victor Horta

Interior Stairwell, The Horta House, Victor Horta

C. 1898

Carole L Chesser 
CAT 111 - 2009

Poster Art
•• Poster Art became prevalent in part due to the advances in printing
during the late 1800's
•• Some of the most successful poster artists were Alphonse Mucha,
Jules Cheret and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
•• The largest single influence on Art Nouveau graphic art was
Japanese art

Gismonda, Alphonse Mucha

Carole L Chesser 
CAT 111 - 2009

•• Alphonse Mucha published Les Documents decoratifs, a volume of
ornamental designs, in 1902
•• His work often features decorative fonts, floral elements and
sensual women with cascading hair
•• Beginning with her play, Gismonda, Mucha became Sarah Bernhardt's
•• He is known for his application of painting techniques in poster art

La Dame aux Camelias, Alphonse Mucha


Carole L Chesser 
CAT 111 - 2009

•• Art Nouveau designers used traditional
materials in new and innovative ways
•• Some important designers were Hector
Guimard, Gustave Serrurier-Bovy, Emile
Galle, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh
•• Funiture was designed to continue the
architecture of a room
•• They integrated multiple purposes into
their items, such as the shelves added to
the washstand pictured here

Washstand, Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Carole L Chesser 
CAT 111 - 2009

•• Louis Majorelle, along with Emile Galle and others,
organized the Ecole de Nancy in France
•• They produced multiple versions of the same piece of
•• Elements of nature were still quite important to the
•• The curvilinear structure behind Art Nouveau was very
•• Many woods, such as mohogany, oak and pear, that had
previously fallen out of popularity were now used and

Carved and Inlaid "Dragonfly" Table, Emile Galle

C. 1900

Carole L Chesser 
CAT 111 - 2009

•• As in other areas of Art Nouveau, butterflies, moths, wasps and
other insects were features of sculpture and jewelry
•• Some important names were Rene Lalique, Philippe Wolfers, Louis
Comfort Tiffany, and Georges Fouquet

Nature, Alphonse Mucha


Carole L Chesser 
CAT 111 - 2009

•• This Peacock is part of the jewelry shop
owned by Georges Fouquet and designed
by Alphonse Mucha
•• Mucha depicted Sarah Bernhardt wear-
ing jewelry in his posters. Ms. Bernhardt
commissioned Fouquet to create a brace-
let based on Mucha's drawings

Peacock, Alphonse Mucha

Carole L Chesser 
CAT 111 - 2009

"Anatomy of an Exhibition - Art Nouveau, 1890-1914."” National Gallery of Art. Web. 12 Aug.
2009. <>.
Greenhalgh, Paul, ed. Art nouveau 1890-1914. London: V&A publications, 2000.
"Henry van de Velde - Great Buildings Online." Architecture Design Images History 3D Models and
more - ArchitectureWeek Great Buildings. Web. 21 Aug. 2009. <
architects/Henry _ van _ de _ Velde.html>.
Janson, H. W. History of art. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2001.
"Mucha do about something." Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland. (June 4, 2001): 40. General
OneFile. Gale. Anne Arundel County Public Library. 2 Feb. 2009
"The Great Ones." Art Business News. 28.4 (April 2001): 44. General OneFile. Gale. Anne
Arundel County Public Library. 2 Feb. 2009

Carole L Chesser 
CAT 111 - 2009