The Art Nouveau style (1880-1914) made its first appearance in the early 1880's and was gone by the eve of the first world war. For a brief, brilliant moment, Art Nouveau was a shimmering presence in urban centers throughout Europe and North America. It was the style of the age--seen on public buildings and advertisements, inside private homes and outside street cafés--adorning the life of the city.
Floreated madness, linear hysteria, strange decorative disease, stylistic free-for-all; such were the terms its contemporaries used to describe Art Nouveau, the first international design style. Art Nouveau was a rebellion against the entire Victorian sensibility, steeped as it was in the past. The exponents of the style hoped to revolutionize every aspect of design in order to set a standard that would be compatible with the new age. For a relatively short period (its heyday lasted roughly 10 years), Art Nouveau was, as one critic wrote: "one of the most imaginative innovations in the history of design."
It was a movement that enjoyed various independent forms of expression in many European countries. In the wake of an all-round desire for innovation, Art Nouveau manifested itself in all forms of design, from architecture to household commodities, from writing to posters, from magazines to books. Its stylistic components were derived from abstract forms and the processes of nature. In the sphere of visual communication, these symbolic pictorial elements were combined with the written text to form a compositional unity. For optimal stylistic symbiosis, single words, lines and whole alphabets were designed. There were not only new fonts, but also diverse floral ornaments for lead composition.
Art Nouveau artists wanted to erase the distinction between major and minor arts. They aimed at unifying all art, centering it around man and his life. Therefore architecture, which has a direct influence on man's life, was the central art on which every skill is naturally integrated. Other main crafts/arts not related to architecture are placards and jewelery, with jewelery taking women as its center. Some art historians like to speak of an Art Nouveau style (as they would talk about Gothic, Roman, Baroque styles) as a decorative style which took its inspiration from nature and women, with this artistic period ending at the first world war.
Since we have so many artists in this community, I want you to know that this community is very artist friendly. If you have any work; past or present, which is germane to the community subject, please feel free to post it here (original artwork, gallery links, auction listings, questions, written articles, period clothing), anything pertaining to the topic or spirit thereof.
While I am very grateful to anyone who posts in here, I must ask that if an image is "too large" (I'll trust your judgment; say, 600 pixels) or you have multiple large images to post, please use an lj-cut.
If you need something to shrink or edit your pictures, you can try a free program called "GIMP", located here.
Please be cordial to one another; some of the kindest things we could say to each other are things which we choose never to say.
If you post in your first language, you must include an English translation as well. Если Вы публикуете на русском Вы языке необходимо включить перевод на английский язык, а также. (If you post in the Russian language, you must include an English translation as well.)