Art Nouveau is French for "New Art." This style began in the 1890s in France and spread throughout the world. It took designs and forms in nature and used flowing curves to stylize them. Art Nouveau was found primarily in architectural detailing and the applied arts, especially the decorative arts.
Art Nouveau has had a major influence across different genres in the art world. Here are some of the disciplines where Art Nouveau has had the biggest influence as well as examples of the artists who made an impact.
Now that you have looked at some examples of Art Nouveau, it is helpful to have a little background to better understand what you were looking at and why it is considered Art Nouveau.
One strong influence in the beginning was a lithograph poster made by Alphonse Mucha from Czechoslovakia.
One theme that ruins through this style is curves.
Flowing lines is a strong characteristic in all of the Art Nouveau works of art and at times the lines undulate and writhe.
However, while curves are a common characteristic, one of the most interesting things about the Art Nouveau style is the way it encompassed so many different genres. It can be found in architecture, jewelry, metal work, furniture, interior design, cookware, flatware, utensils, cloth, painting, sculpture, glass work, and ceramics.