Art Nouveau

Decorative, sensual, and uncompromising, Art Nouveau ('New Art') emerged as a dynamic and expressive style in the visual arts from the early 1890s to the First World War. Taking its inspiration from the natural world, its characteristic motifs include delicate tendrils, organic forms, swooping, swirling lines, eccentric geometry and exotic bodies.

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Viewed by some as the first self-conscious attempt to create a modern style, Art Nouveau steadily developed across Europe and America, and can be seen in painting, sculpture, jewellery, metalwork, glass and ceramics of the period. The seductive drawings of Aubrey Beardsley, the curvaceous architecture of Victor Horta and Paul Hankar and the ornate poster designs of Alphonse Mucha are some of the most familiar examples of the Art Nouveau style.

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