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Art Nouveau (French pronunciation: [aʁ nu'vo], Anglicised to /ˈɑːrt nuːˈvoʊ/) is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art especially the decorative arts that were most popular during 1890-1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art". It is known also as Modernisme in Catalonia (Spain), with its most notable contributions by the architect Antoni Gaud. Known as Jugendstil, pronounced ˈjuːɡn̩tstiːl in Germany, German for "youth style" or "the style of youth", named after the magazine Jugend, which promoted it, as Modern (Модерн) in Russia, perhaps named after Parisian gallery "La Maison Moderne", as Secession in Austria-Hungary and its successor states after the Viennese group of artists, and, in Italy, as Stile Liberty from the department store in London, Liberty & Co., which popularised the style. A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, it was inspired by natural forms and structures, not only in flowers and plants but also in curved lines. Architects tried to harmonize with the natural environment. It is also considered a philosophy of design of furniture, which was designed according to the whole building and made part of ordinary life.
The style was influenced strongly by Czech artist Alphonse Mucha, when Mucha produced a lithographed poster, which appeared on 1 January 1895 in the streets of Paris as an advertisement for the play Gismonda by Victorien Sardou, featuring Sarah Bernhardt. It popularised the new artistic style and its creator to the citizens of Paris. Initially named Style Mucha, (Mucha Style), his style soon became known as Art Nouveau.
Art Nouveau was most popular in Europe, but its influence was global. Hence, it is known in various guises with frequent localised tendencies. In France, Hector Guimard's Paris metro entrances were of art nouveau style and Emile Gall practised the style in Nancy. Victor Horta had a decisive effect on architecture in Belgium. Magazines like Jugend helped publicise the style in Germany, especially as a graphic artform, while the Vienna Secessionists influenced art and architecture throughout Austria-Hungary. Art Nouveau was also a style of distinct individuals such as Gustav Klimt, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Alphonse Mucha, Ren Lalique, Antoni Gaud and Louis Comfort Tiffany, each of whom interpreted it in their own manner.
April 7th, 2013
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