Art Nouveau, artists and art
(movement, 1880's - 1905)
A decorative art movement that emerged in the late nineteenth century decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe. It began in the 1880s as a reaction against the historical emphasis of mid-19th-century art, but did not survive World War I. Art nouveau originated in London and was variously called jugendstil in Germany, sezessionstil in Austria, and modernismo in Spain. In general it was most successfully practiced in the decorative arts: furniture, jewelry, and book design and illustration. The style was richly ornamental and asymmetrical, characterized by a whiplash linearity reminiscent of twining plant tendrils.Its exponents chose themes fraught with symbolism, frequently of an erotic nature. They imbued their designs with dreamlike and exotic forms.