Art Nouveau (from the French art nouveau, literally – new art) is the name of the modern style common in many countries (Belgium, France, England, the USA, etc.). The most famous artist in this area of painting: Alphonse Mucha.
Art Nouveau is a style that arose in the years 1880-1900. Well, if you are already quite accurate, this is one of the directions of Art Nouveau, and the most decorative and ornamental.
The interior in the Art Nouveau style involves a natural combination of various textures, materials and types of decoration. Here are intertwined (often in the literal sense of the word) metal and stone, glass and wood, mirrors and stained-glass windows. And it is precisely the stained glass windows of Art Nouveau that most likely owes its origin. The thing is that this is the name of the Parisian store, which opened at the end of the 19th century Siegfried Bing. In one of its sections, the owner presented contemporary art: glass of famous French and Japanese masters and colorful stained-glass windows. The store, and at the same time its products, began to gain unprecedented popularity. Siegfried Bing, however, was more of a talented entrepreneur than a creator and decorator: he took over the smoothness of lines and naturalness in the plots from his Japanese colleagues, but the store name was peeped at the pages of the magazine “Contemporary Art” (“L’Art Moderne”) in 1881
The first “architectural swallow” of the Art Nouveau style was the Belgian Victor Horta, who built in 1893 the famous house of Professor Edmond Tassel, the first building in the Art Nouveau style. However, the full art nouveau was manifested in the works of the Czech artist and illustrator Alfred Mucha. It was he who had the honor of becoming the main “visualizer” of the “new art.” Looking even briefly at the work of the Flies, you can understand everything about Art Nouveau. That is why his posters, posters, vignettes, stained-glass windows, as well as the global works The Seasons and Slavic Epic are mandatory for anyone who wants to create an Art Nouveau-style interior. It is difficult to overestimate the contribution of this talented Czech to the development of a new style, which is why this direction is often called the “Fly style”.
However, despite the activities of prominent representatives, exhibitions and popularity, it was difficult for the Austrians to distinguish French Art Nouveau from the “secession” that they were used to, the Germans from the “Unedistyle”, the Italians from the “liberty”, the Spaniards from “modernizable”, and the Russians and other Europeans – from Art Nouveau. Disputes about the boundaries between different directions are still ongoing and are unlikely to ever end, but you can still outline the features of art nouveau.
Firstly, curvy smooth lines are striking. They become the basis of the ornament, the main means of expression, the embodiment of beauty, and indeed carry a style-forming function and independent meaning. Secondly, in Art Nouveau decisive importance is attached to decorativeness. Thirdly, special attention is always paid to naturalness – without a leaf or a tree, the decor in the Art Nouveau style is inferior. That is why interiors in this style are replete with natural and plant motifs: climbing plants, images of women with waves of hair flowing over their shoulders. Aquatic plants have also gained no less popularity: water lilies or lilies, as well as all kinds of mermaids, nymphs, octopuses and fish. Some insects also inspire designers, mainly butterflies and dragonflies – they are most often depicted in rich and incredibly detailed stained glass windows – if the windows face the sunny side, this is worth using. Art Nouveau decoration also requires a large number of details that support the style: candlesticks, chandeliers, plumbing fixtures, ceramic tiles, wrought iron grates, cabinets and tables with elegant carved legs, paintings – in general, everything, down to forks and knives. Handmade interior elements are especially appreciated. Art Nouveau became the last bastion of individual forms before standardization and the facelessness of mass production. The main rule of Art Nouveau is stylistic unity and the absence of corners. Wavy furniture, rounded steps, oval window frames, grottos. Everything should be equally smooth, flowing, natural and natural. Even one strictly rectangular element can break the integrity of the style.
It is worth mentioning that Art Nouveau quickly ceased to attract the attention of artists and decorators – at the beginning of the 20th century, simplicity of form, sharpness of lines and the possibility of machine reproduction of details came to the fore. A second wind at Art Nouveau only opened 50 years later, when decorators refreshed the natural, decorative and romantic Art Nouveau with the achievements of modern production. However, the artistic landmarks of Art Nouveau remained unchanged. To soak in them and finally fall in love with the most decorative direction of Art Nouveau, it is worth visiting the Art Nouveau Gallery in Moscow or the Alfonso Mucha Museum in Prague.