A Silversmiths View.... The Art Nouveau Era

Posted by Allen John on September 4th, 2018

Attracted by the free flowing curves and romance of Mucha, I decided to create a few silver pieces of jewellery in his style. The reaction was extremely positive and I immediately widened the collection and integrated the styles of other designers from this period – clearly the Art Nouveau style could be appreciated in modern times and I was determined to play my part in the rebirth of this style around the world.

The name Art Nouveau is French for new art and was derived from the Maison de l’ Art Nouveau which was the name of the gallery opened in Paris in 1895 by the German art dealer, Samuel Bing, which exclusively featured modern art. This style is also known as Jugendstil which is the German for 'youth style' so named after the magazine Jugend which promoted the Art Nouveau look. Meanwhile in Britain, Art Nouveau had a close kinship to the Arts and Crafts movement, which had begun some time before the Parisienne inspired Art Nouveau movement.

In Italy it is called Stile Liberty named after the famous department store, Liberty and Co, of Regent Street which opened shortly after the 1862 International Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum where the British public were first exposed to Japanese works of art. Under the management of Arthur Liberty this store became the leading outlet and promotional centre for English Art Nouveau whose clients included J. Whistler and Oscar Wilde.


Art Nouveau was inspired by natural forms and structures, not only by flowers and plants but also by curved lines. Art Nouveau theorists challenged the belief that art could only manifest itself through painting, drawing or sculpture and advocated that the design of everyday objects, for example, a teapot, a chair or light fitting could also exude artistic appreciation.

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Allen John

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Allen John
Joined: August 30th, 2017
Articles Posted: 36

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