stairwell in Riga
Known as Jugendstil in Germany, Sezessionstil in Austria, Modernista in Spain, and Stile Liberty or Stile Floreale in Italy, Art Nouveau has become the general term applied to a highly varied movement that was European-centred but internationally current at the end of the century.
gate of the castle beranger, hector guimard
Art Nouveau architects gave idiosyncratic expression to many of the themes that had preoccupied the 19th century, ranging from Viollet-le-Duc's call for structural honesty to Sullivan's call foran organic architecture.
|Taken from Le Duc's Dictionary of French Architecture 9-16th century|
Decorative exploitation of the architectural surface with flexible, S-shaped linear ornament, commonly called whiplash or eel styles,was indulged in by the Jugendstil and Sezessionstil architects. The Studio Elvira at Munich (1897-98) by August Endell and Otto Wagner's Majolika Haus at Vienna (c. 1898) are two of the more significant examples of this German and Austrian use of line.
(2) no object is too utilitarian.
(3) nouveau sees no separation in principle between high and low and applied or decorative arts (ceramics, furniture, and other practical objects)
(4) nouveau reacts against the precise and clean geometry of Neoclassicism. it's a form of maximalism.
(5) a new graphic design language, as far away as possible from the historical and classical models employed by the arts academies. it's pretty free-spirited within the conventions of the time,