Art Nouveau in architecture and art

Art Nouveau in architecture and art

The late 19th century was an era dominated by eclecticism. Innovation stemmed from a combination of various styles and their repetition. There was a growing need to create something entirely new, liberated from the ties to the historical past. Thus began the formation of the "Art Nouveau" style, symbolizing innovative art.

In the 1880s, the characteristics of "Art Nouveau" began to emerge in the works of painters and sculptors. The floral ornament became a key element of "Art Nouveau," lending it a unique recognizability.

Hermann Obrist's embroidery 'The Whiplash'

Hermann Obrist's embroidery "The Whiplash" became a benchmark of the style with its smooth, curved lines. "Art Nouveau" rejected traditional architectural forms, inspiring the search for new decorative forms that resembled mobile plant motifs and wavy lines. In decoration, stylized plant and animal patterns with smooth lines predominated. These images did not resemble naturalistic or historical representations but rather reflected late Gothic forms and Japanese painting. All these features quickly formed into a new style with a host of distinctive characteristics.

Art Nouveau style furniture

"Art Nouveau" quickly spread and became extremely popular, involving not only painting and architecture but also interiors, furniture, and household items.

The style "Art Nouveau," of French origin, is known internationally but has acquired different names in various countries. For instance, it's called "Modern" in Russia, "Jugendstil" in Germany, "Liberty" in Italy, "Mackintosh" in Scotland, and "Tiffany" in the USA.

Belgian architect Victor Horta

project by architect Victor Horta

In architecture, flowing forms prevailed, allowing for the creation of metal structures resembling thickets of fantastical flowers. Victor Horta is considered a pioneer in this architectural direction, creating projects from metal and glass in the forms of fantastical plants.

Architect Hector Guimard

Architect Hector Guimard 2

In France, the style became popular thanks to Hector Guimard, who designed the Parisian metro. Antonio Gaudi completely rejected traditional architectural concepts, creating works that merged with nature, such as the Casa Milà Gaudi in Barcelona.

Architect Fyodor Shekhtel

Architect Fyodor Shekhtel 2

An interesting feature of "Modern" is the use of triangular ornaments and the rare combination of ovals with triangles, as seen in the Moscow Art Theatre's "Seagull" and the decorative grilles and techniques of Fyodor Shekhtel.

Architect Antonio Gaudi

"Art Nouveau" imitates not only the external forms of the living but also its behavior, creating a unique "organicity," which is one of its main characteristics.

Modern is enchanting not only as a whole but also in details, for example, in the technique of pulling from an imaginatively very dense thin, fiber-penetrated medium. Twisted objects, stretched in this way, look mysterious and slightly frightening.

Art Nouveau style

The color in "Art Nouveau" is based on dissonant pairs, such as orange with purple or brown with white.

The development of the style led to the emergence of several of its directions, including Neo-Romanticism, Neoclassical style, and Rationalism.

Some specialists in the history of architecture believe these styles are independent, while others consider them variants of "Art Nouveau."