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Friday, 28 January 2011

Art Nouveau c.1890 - 1905

Poster by Alphonse Mucha (
The Art Nouveau style flourished around the turn of the twentieth century. It pretty much began with an 'overnight sensation' when Alphonse Mucha designed a poster for the actress Sarah Bernhart in a style that was a reaction (as all new movements in art are) to the strongly academic and classical Victorian style that was prevelant at the time. It is characteriesd by flowing lines, violent curves and use of nature and organic influences.
The architecture of Gaudi and Charles Rennie Mackintosh was very much Art Nouveau in style as was the work of Gustave Klimt.  It was an art 'of the people' using everyday materials and was seen in all aspects of life and design. It's history is often eclipsed by the popularity of Art Deco (which I will be blogging about next month) but it is well-worthy of examining and very rewarding and often very beautiful.
I have shown, below, a selection of Art Nouveau design. Enjoy it!
Blue Flower Bowl (
Barcelona house by Gaudi (
Art Nouveau writing desk (
Gustave Klimt, sold for more than $100 million! (


joanne said...

another winning post... thumbs up for art nouveau (i have a beautiful pin i love to wear depicting a fairy)

and a big thumbs up for Klimt... love his work :)

nice to see you back again... i hope all is well with you and your family...

bazza said...

Hello Joanne. That's interesting because the depiction of fairies was very common with many Victorian artists. Perhaps it's an overlap of two art movements!
I also love the work of Klimt who is one of the most reproduced artists today. It is still possible to see the influence of Art Nouveau style, generally,in poster design today.
Thanks for your concern; we are doing OK and little Sonny is making good progress.

David said...

Dear bazza,
I do like "Art Nouveau", especially Klimt. I have some prints of his work (somewhere).
Also, a lot of the old cinemas in Stoke-on-Trent were built in the "Art Deco" style, which, as you say, followed on from the art nouvea movement. Unfortunately, most of these old buildings have either fallen into ill-repair or have been unceremoniously knocked down by our barborous city council.
Anyway, glad to hear that you and Sonny are doing OK.
With Very Best Wishes,

THE SNEE said...

Hi Bazza,
I'm so happy you wrote a post highlighting the Art Nouveau style. I was completely swept up by Gaudi's work in Barcelona...pure magic really. I also love the variety of mediums you posted; architecture, furniture, decorative arts, paintings.

But best of all, I got my To Discover Ice fix. That being said, I seem to be discovering ice each time I step out the door.

I'm glad to hear that you are all doing ok. Sonny and and your family are in my thoughts. Be well.

bazza said...

David: Yes, most of those lovely old Art Deco Odeon cinemas have gone now. I do actually prefer the Art Deco style to Art Nouveau but because it gets overlooked I thought I'd draw some attention to it.
By the way, thanks for tagging me. I will respond, possibly in the 'comments' of this blog!

Snee: I also loved seeing Gaudi's Sacra Familia and all the other stuff, included his home, in Barcelona.
It was a medium that pervaded all areas of contemporary design. It faded after 1905 and was completed swept away by the advent of WW1.

John said...

Hi bazza, another interesting post!
I, or should I say, myself and Lisa have been lucky enough to visit Barcelona and to see examples of Gaudi`s work. A man with of true genius, if that is not a not too overused word!

bazza said...

Hello John, I think Gaudi is a person for whom the word genius is fitting. Barcelona is one of the loveliest cities I have seen.

klahanie said...

Hi bazza,
Yet another interesting and informative post with superb corresponding pictorials.
And now, suddenly from what I've noted in the comments, I have this urge to visit Barcelona.
Take care I echo the sentiments of the others and am heartened to know of Sonny's progress.
All the best, Gary.

Kelly said...

I like the Gutave Klimt artwork. The woman's face looks so detailed, it looks like a photograph. I like the design of the desk, too. Very cool.

bazza said...

Gary: Barcelona is a fabulous place to visit and ideal for two or three days.
I will update about Sonny but don't want to overdo it. Thanks for your concern.

Kelly: You clearly have excellent taste! I believe you could snap up that Klimt for $105 million, the most expensive picture ever bought.

Rob said...

It does make a welcome change from the Victorian academic style.

Is it in any way connected to the Arts and Crafts movement from around that time?

bazza said...

Hi Rob. The Arts & Crafts movement preceded Art Nouveau and had a longer lasting influence but I think it would be fair to say that they were sympathetic to each other. Also Arts & Crafts was, originally, a very English thing but, as the name implies, Art Nouveau started on the Continent.

landscape painting said...

Your post Art Nouveau c.1890 - 1905 is quite amazing,Like the classic desk and the klimt lady portrait

bazza said...

landscape painting: Thanks very much. I love all of the stuff in these photos but probably the Klimt best!