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Furniture Style: Art Nuveau

Furniture Style: Art Nuveau

Encompassing the years of 1890 – 1910, the Art Nuveau movement is best described as a backlash to the European academies of art, also known as academic art.  It is sometimes called Modernism because it was the first design style of the 20th century.

 

The skinny on Art Nuveau style

The ultimate goal of an Art Nuveau stylist of any variety (architect, furniture designer, artist) was to eradicate distinctions between all styles of art and form a unified style to serve man and nature.

  • Including curves and flowing lines that some describe as a whip
  • Natural materials, such as wood
    • beech
    • mahogany
    • walnut
    • oak
    • A female theme (the curvaceous lines and their flowing movement)
    • Moderate to medium (though often tall) proportioning
    • Ornamentations from inlay and marquetry including floral designs or other themes from nature
    • Legs of a chair, table, cabinet or wardrobe go straight to the floor without added embellishment (such as a animal claw as the foot).
    • Chrome and brass form the details in the fixtures (such as with drawer pulls and knobs), and the components of the furniture are joined with dovetail joints.
    • A wide variety of fabrics (especially in the backing and seat cushions of chairs) including
      • linen
      • leather
      • damask
      • velvet
      • tapestry
      • brocade

The origins of Art Nuveau

Art Nuveau as a style was influenced primarily by the designs of Czech painter and artist Alphonse Mucha, and examples can be found in the works of famed Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí.

  • The origins of the style, however, go back to William Morris, for in his resistance to formulaic and cluttered styles and compositions
  • Morris aligned with Art Nuveau and then segued to form the Arts and Crafts movement.
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This entry was posted on April 30, 2013 by in Furniture and tagged , , , , , .

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