The past few weeks I have been referencing historical graphic design styles for a project that is in the works. While I have chosen a more Victorian route, I frequently returned to the swirling curves and whiplash styles that define the Art Nouveau period (1890-1914). European artists, architects and designers were highly influenced by the Art Nouveau period as it gave way towards a more open design styles and allowed for other creative movements to flourish. Hector Guimard, one of the most famous architects from the Art Nouveau period made his cast iron metro entrances iconic to Paris.
The architectural and decorative elements in Brussels are gorgeous,
and also in Barcelona, where Art Nouveau still flourishes.
One of my favorite restaurants in Paris is Maxim’s.
The Art Nouveau decor has remained true to Maxim’s since it opened.
Next time you are in Paris, put this on your to-visit list if you haven’t yet been.
The visuals are just as fun as the atmosphere.
Original interior Art Nouveau style. The next two images could fall into one of my past and present series.
A townhouse in New York restored by architect Alan Wanzenberg and interior designer Vladimir Alexandrovich Fabrikov featured four years ago in AD, which can be seen here.
An Art Nouveau lamp then…
and a carved and glazed contemporary one.
Alphonse Mucha’s watercolor “Peonies” which inspired many printed fabrics.
Mucha’s pattern, which inspired the carvings on the glass doors below, interior design by Kate Hume.
Art Nouveau may not have survived as an architectural style because of the reliance on heavy ornamentation,
but it still is very evident in many design applications, now you know what it is when you see it.
Photo Credits: Paris Metro Flickr, via Brussels of Tomorrow, Mosaic in the Hotel Hannon Brussels via Flickr, Martin Brown Art (4&5), Maxim’s Paris Google Images, via My Design Folder, AD January 2006; Screen Grab Audrey Hepburn in Charade 1963; Ann Wolf via House Beautiful, National Galleries , Elle Decor online via Metropolitan Home