Art Nouveau's Influence In Art

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Art Nouveau is a style that swept France and eventually all of Europe from 1889 to 1900, it was considered the most popular style at that time affecting more than just visual art but also affecting interior design, architecture, households and jewellery, making it a very flexible style. It was also a simplistic style that was organic with twisting and ripple lines or floral effect, so everything was flowing and elegant.
According to Debra L Silverman who wrote in her book ‘art nouveau in fin-de-siècle France’ art nouveau had three goals, first to “disrupt the hierarchy of media and to reunite art and craft” second to create a “distinctively modern style” and third to “assert the primary of individual vision over the functions of materials”.
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These wood-block prints particularly contained floral and whiplash curves, the use of line, forms, decorative pattern and colour, all these key elements inspired the same elements in Art Nouveau.
The design of woodblock prints did not come easy. While artists such as Suzuki Harunobu and Ando Hiroshige earned enormous amounts of fame, it was not a one-man process. Each individual print was created by the designer, the engraver, the printer, and the publisher. The publisher usually created the print as a bookseller, and determined the subject of the work. Designers had to rely on their engravers and printers to bring their ideas to life in finished products

The Art Nouveau print below is titled “The Tale of the Golden Cockerel” illustrated by Ivan Bilibin”). You can see the strong influence of the Japanese ukiyo-e movement in this print. The calligraphic line drawing, abstraction, and use of colors and decorative patterns from Japanese woodblock prints are some of the elements that can clearly be seen in this
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It was a culmination of Europe’s bottled up creativity that caused a stream of timeless, remarkable art and design. Although the origin of art nouveau is un clear, it was born of social and artistic restlessness, and inspired by the politics, technology and economy at that time. It was a way to break free from the strict disciplines of academic art and express a different kind of organic reality, one that is felt instead of observed. It was a groundbreaking movement, and has helped shape design as we know it. As evidenced by architecture, jewelry, sculpture, illustration, glassblowing, textiles, and furniture, Art Nouveau was a breath of fresh air, and will be remembered as a new, avant-garde approach to
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