25 January 2014 14:29
The Art Nouveau movement was inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement and it blossomed in Europe approximately from 1890 until 1910. Since Art Nouveau became popular in various countries in Europe, the movement gained different regional and sometimes even local names.
France, Belgium and the Netherlands
The French term Art Nouveau is mainly used for artistic expressions within this movement in France and Belgium. The name Art Nouveau is derived from a Parisian art shop named Salon de l’Art Nouveau. Besides this this name, the term Style Métro, based on the famous, French, Art Nouveau subway entrances in Paris that were designed by Hector Guirnard (1867-1942), was also used. Since Guirnard is seen as one of the most important representatives of Art Nouveau in France, the name Style Guirnard also came into existence. In the Netherlands, the translation of Art Nouveau (Nieuwe Kunst) was used to refer to work in this style. The term Slaoliestijl (lettuce oil style) was also used in the Netherlands. This name was based on an advertisement that depicts women surrounded by wavy lines which was designed by Jan Toorop (1858-1928) for the lettuce oil factory in Delft Some also mockingly called it the spaghetti or vermicelli style. Besides these names, the name ‘whiplash style’ is also used for Art Nouveau. The whiplash is a reoccurring element within the Art Nouveau movement. In Belgium, the term Horta style is used. The name Horta refers to the Belgian architect Victor Horta (1861-1947), who played an important part in the development of Art Nouveau.
Germany and Austria
The most common, alternative name for Art Nouveau is Jugendstil. The name comes from the art and literature magazine ‘Die Jugend’ that was first published in Munich in 1896. The term Jugendstil is mostly used to refer to Art Nouveau designs from Germany and Austria. Art Nouveau and Jugendstil are two general terms that can be used to refer to the art movement. In Austria, Art Nouveau was represented by the artistic movements Secession and Wiener Werkstätte. The Secession, which eventually resulted in the Wiener Werkstätte, was a group of artist in Vienna between 1897 and 1914 that were inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement. They strove to create a new language of shapes; a geometric form of Art Nouveau. Famous members were, among others, Gustav Klimkt, Joseph Hoffmann, Egon Schiele, Otto Wagner and Koloman Moser. The Czech artist Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) also should not go unmentioned as a representative of the Art Nouveau style.
England and Scotland
The Arts and Crafts movement was a 19th century, social movement in England led by William Morris that strove to see the return of craftsmanship and the simplicity of designs as a response to mass production. This artistic movement hugely influenced the later Jugendstil or Art Nouveau movement. Art Nouveau was called Style Liberty, Liberty Style or Modern Style in England. The artist Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) had a personal nouveau style. Within the Art Nouveau, Beardsley was one of the most controversial artists. Inspired by the Japanese shunga, which featured erotic art, Beardsley made dark, erotic drawings. The most important representative of the Arts and Crafts movement and after that the Art nouveau in Scotland was Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928). Along with three other artists, he founded the group of artists called The Four, which is also called The Glasgow Four. Mackintosh’s style, a linear and less ornamental version of Art Nouveau, is also called the Glasgow Style.
Spain and Italy
The term Modernismo, also called Catalan modernism, is used to refer to Art Nouveau in Spain. The most important representative was the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926). Famous buildings designed by Gaudí can be seen in Barcelona. He strove to make architecture an organic part of the nature, which is why Gaudí derived many shapes from nature. This way of thinking is typical for the Art Nouveau movement. Stile Liberty or Stile Floreale are Italian names for Art Nouveau. Particularly in Turin and Milan, an Italian form of Jugendstil originated: Art Nouveau mixed with neo-baroque. The most famous representative of Art Nouveau in Turin is Pietro Fenoglio (1865-1927).
Scandinavia and Eastern-Europe
Art Nouveau has also left its marks in Northern and Eastern Europe. In the Lithuanian capital Riga, for instance, nearly half of the buildings were created during the Art Nouveau period. Besides, plenty of Art Nouveau architecture can also be found in Helsinki, Finland. The Norwegian city of Ålesund is also known for its architecture in the Art Nouveau style. After a devastating fire in 1904, the city was rebuilt in this style. In Denmark, Art Nouveau is known as Skønvirke (aesthetical work). Over there, the style expressed itself as a mix between Jugendstil, Arts and Crafts and Norwegian, national Romance.