A revolutionary reaction to traditional nineteenth-century art, the turn-of-the-century Art Nouveau movement drew much of its inspiration from nature. Applying its sinuous, curvilinear motifs to the decorative arts, graphics, architecture, sculpture, and painting, artists and craftspeople attempted to create a style suitable for a "modern" age.
In this absorbing, exceptionally detailed, and well-researched book (one of the first scholarly works to revive interest in the style after World War II), a noted Norwegian authority on the subject examines the movement in depth. Stephan Madsen offers a wealth of facts and insights about the origins and development of the style; trends leading up to Art Nouveau, including the influence of Blake and the Pre-Raphaelites; early Art Nouveau posters and book illustrations; and its use in architectural ornamentation, furniture, jewelry, wrought-iron, glass, and other applied arts.
A magnificent selection of 264 photographs and line drawings accompanies the text, which gives broad coverage to the movement, as well as insightful discussions of such important artists as Emile Gallé, Alphonse Mucha, Walter Crane, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Aubrey Beardsley, Henry Van de Velde, Victor Horta, William Morris, and Eugène Grasset.
Artists and students, admirers of Art Nouveau, and anyone interested in this enduring and influential style will welcome Professor Madsen's expert, fully documented study.
Reprint of Sources of Art Nouveau, H. Aschehoug, Oslo, Norway, 1956.