History of Design and Craftsmanship

What is Art Nouveau

What is Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau was an international style of art, architecture, and applied art, especially the decorative arts, that flourished from about 1890 to 1910. The style is characterized by its use of flowing lines, organic forms, and asymmetry. Art Nouveau artists and designers sought to create a new style that was both beautiful and functional, and they often used natural forms as inspiration.

The Art Nouveau movement began in Belgium and France in the late 19th century, and it quickly spread to other parts of Europe and the United States. Some of the most famous Art Nouveau artists include Victor Horta, Hector Guimard, Alphonse Mucha, and Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Art Nouveau significantly impacted the design of architecture, furniture, jewelry, glassware, and other decorative objects. The style can be seen in many famous buildings, such as the Hôtel Tassel in Brussels, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and the New York Public Library. Art Nouveau jewelry is also highly sought-after by collectors, and examples of the style can be found in museums and private collections around the world.

Art Nouveau was a short-lived movement, but it had a lasting impact on the arts and design. The style’s use of flowing lines and organic forms can still be seen in many contemporary works of art and design.

Here are some of the key characteristics of Art Nouveau:

  • Flowing lines: Art Nouveau artists often used flowing lines to create a sense of movement and dynamism in their work. Natural forms, such as plants and flowers, often inspired these lines.
  • Organic forms: Art Nouveau artists also often used organic forms in their work. These forms were often used to create a sense of unity and harmony between the different elements of a design.
  • Asymmetry: Art Nouveau designs were often asymmetrical, which created a sense of movement and interest.
  • Nature: Nature was a major source of inspiration for Art Nouveau artists. They often used natural forms, such as plants and flowers, in their work.
  • Symbolism: Art Nouveau artists often used symbolism in their work. This symbolism often conveyed messages about beauty, nature, and the human spirit.

Art Nouveau was a diverse movement encompassing a wide range of artistic styles. However, all Art Nouveau works share some of the key characteristics listed above. If you see a work of art that features flowing lines, organic forms, asymmetry, and nature, then it is likely an example of Art Nouveau.

If you would like to explore this unique style in your furniture, contact Colorado Springs, Custom Furniture Maker and Designer.


I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.

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