Art Nouveau was a counter art movement, a reaction to the standardization of the physical world and objects of use; caused directly by the industrial era. Industralization had established a template approach to the creation of goods, the result was volume in production, but a severe lack in discerning, artistic qualities that make our physical world unique. Art Noveau existed from 1880's till the onset of World War I. It gave rise to organic, floral, elegant styles with a focus on bringing the principles of sculpting into every area, be it furniture, fork or a furnace. A building, bed or a balcony, everything was made to express artistic beauty. The movement spread itself across Western Euroupe and United States.
"There is no square mile of earth’s inhabitable surface that is not beautiful in it’s own way, if we men will only abstain from wilfully destroying that beauty." – William Morris
William was a British poet, and a significant cultural figure in the times of Art Nouveau. His work had a profound effect on the movement, and his art extended from Stained Glass Painting to Typeface creation, from Textile print to Embroidery, he was extremely vocal about the ugliness of making something that lacked beauty. A designer who was known for his poetry more than his art.
"There is nothing that special to see when looking at me. I'm a painter who paints day in day out, from morning till evening - figure pictures and landscapes, more rarely portraits. Whoever wants to know something about me - as an artist which alone is significant - they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognise what I am and what I want." – Gastav Klimt
Gustav Klimt needs no introduction. He painted beautiful patterns, used a bright colour palette, and an amalgamation of metallic colours in his work, with lines that swirl and flow all over the canvas. Gustav also used real gold in his paintings, mostly in the form of a leaf, a technique he picked through his father, who had worked as a gold engraver all his life.
Art Nouveau's effect on architecture is perhaps, the most stunning of all, with regal, curvilinear lines, mirroring the movement of tendrils. The gates, the elevators, the staircases, all of it was at a level of craftsmanship which is a fantasy for today. Look! how lovely this large room is! with a long gate of beautiful curves, cutlery that is too beautiful to hold, and furniture with legs carved in supreme detail. The lamps are exquisite, the tapestry so elegant, it's an art festival of everyday life.
"Our roots are in the depths of the woods-on the banks of streams and among the mosses." – Emile Galle
Emile Galle was a French artist whose medium of expression was glass. He produced many beautiful forms of glass in the form of vases, lamps etc. adorned with nature inspired motifs and imagery. Emile studied studied philosophy, botany, and drawing in his youth. His Father was a furniture maker, and he learned glass making at his factory, forming an original vision with his unique use of opaque glass, often carved or itched with plant motifs. He experimented with metallic foils and the use of air bubbles in his work too.
The world of art has never seen such exquisite hands, as it saw in the times of Art Nouveau, the artist of this movement sought out to integrate nature into everyday life, with designs that take you back to your garden of trees, with prints that remind us of a lush landscape and an overall feeling of having nature take its route in still life, and the objects around us.The attention to detail is astounding and the spirit with which Art Nouveau artists lived their lives, are stories of awe and inspiration!
We have covered very few artists of those times, if you dig deeper, you will find more whose work is a shining example of nature itself. We pay a small tribute to the memory of those who forged a beautiful path for art to flourish around us, in the form of our chair where we sit, our cup of tea, and the lamp we light, for all things beautiful that we see today, Art Nouveau lives in the history, waiting to tell it's story to visitors from today.