Casting off the previous hundred years of
architecture and design, Art Nouveau style created a
sensation when it exploded onto the Paris and London
scenes at the turn of the twentieth century.
Although Art Nouveau may appear harmlessly pretty
now, late Victorians found its flamboyance shocking,
and most either loved it or hated it. It was the
first truly modern design style, making a conscious
break with history and tradition and beating down
the barriers between the fine arts and the
Art Nouveau practitioners like Aubrey Beardsley,
Antonio Gaudi, and Gustav Klimt took their
inspiration directly from the curvilinear forms of
nature, developing a new design lexicon of highly
stylized natural forms and exuberantly flowing
shapes. Applied artists like architect and
designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh and glassmaker
Louis Comfort Tiffany were not far behind, and
spiderwebs, dragonflies, dogwoods, peacock feathers,
poppies, locusts, and thistles soon buzzed and
blossomed on wallpaper, furniture, textiles, and
accents. Sinuous lines, elaborate patterns, and
flat, asymmetrical Japanese-inspired compositions
were carved or painted onto every available surface.
Colors ranged from elegantly muted sage and mustard
to opulent lilac, gold, salmon, and robins egg
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|Ornament is the soul of Art Nouveau design, which
held that no object was so mundane that it could not
be beautiful. Must-have Art Nouveau accessories
include art glass -- jewel-toned Tiffany stained
glass, etched Lalique glass, or Galle cameo glass,
which has a raised design cut out of the glass
with acid, are good places to start a
Mackintosh-style ornaments are widely available --
he designed everything from the Glasgow School of
Art to jewelry boxes -- and elegant posters by
Alphonse Mucha or Jules Cheret add a period flair to
an Art Nouveau-inspired space. And while an original
Tiffany lamp costs a fortune, Art Nouveau pieces
were designed for mass production, and reproductions
are widely available.
Pastel on paper
Hand painted reproductions available in any size!
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Gilding objects, ceilings or
furniture in Silver leaf can be just the right touch to create
the Modern look you are after.
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This wonderfully sandy texture
is great for doors and trim.
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