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art nouveau

art nouveau (ärˌ no͞ovōˈ), decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe. It began in the 1880s as a reaction against the historical emphasis of mid-19th-century art, but did not survive World War I. Art nouveau originated in London and was variously called Jugendstil in Germany, Sezessionstil in Austria, and Modernismo in Spain. In general it was most successfully practiced in the decorative arts: furniture, jewelry, and book design and illustration. The style was richly ornamental and asymmetrical, characterized by a whiplash linearity reminiscent of twining plant tendrils. Its exponents chose themes fraught with symbolism, frequently of an erotic nature. They imbued their designs with dreamlike and exotic forms. The outstanding designers of art nouveau in England include the graphic artist Aubrey Beardsley, A. H. Mackmurdo, Charles Ricketts, Walter Crane, and the Scottish architect Charles R. Mackintosh; in Belgium the architects Henry Van de Velde and Victor Horta; in France the architect and designer of the Paris métro entrances, Hector Guimard, and the jewelry designer René Lalique; in Austria the painter Gustav Klimt; in Spain the architect Antonio Gaudí; in Germany the illustrator Otto Eckmann and the architect Peter Behrens; in Italy the originator of the ornamental Floreale style, Giuseppe Sommaruga; and in the United States Louis Sullivan, whose architecture was dressed with art nouveau detail, and the designer of elegant glassware Louis C. Tiffany. The aesthetics of the movement were disseminated through various illustrated periodicals including The Century Guild Hobby Horse (1894), The Dial (1889), The Studio (begun, 1893), The Yellow Book (1894–95), and The Savoy (1896–98). The works of Beardsley and Tiffany were especially popular.


See definitive studies by R. Schmutzler (1964), M. Rheims (1966), A. Mackintosh, Symbolism and Art Nouveau (1978).

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A term meaning “youth style.” The German version of Art Nouveau; after the journal Die Jugend that publicized the style; it was associated with the Sezession movement in Vienna, Munich, and Dresden; chief proponents were Endell, Hoffman, Olbrich, and Wagner.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a term used in art studies in reference to the German branch of art nouveau. It was derived from the name of the Munich-based journal Jugend (1896), which popularized the style.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


“Youth style”; the German version of Art Nouveau.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Instead of continuing to produce this good quality domestic ware, the lines had been shelved by about 1902 and WMF became followers of the Jugendstil and not innovators.
The action, which should take place outside Ariadne's cave in the Island of Naxos is set in this production in a well-known Jugendstil restaurant in Zurich.
Four influences on Rilke are singled out: Jugendstil art, Jens Peter Jacobsen, Maurice Maeterlinck, and Nietzsche.
Mitteleuropa developed its own version of the Art Nouveau style of the time, which was known as Jugendstil and which was especially imaginative, lush, and ornate.
At Edinburgh, he staged an memorable 1983 celebration of turn-of-century Vienna that focused on connections between the Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and leaders of the Jugendstil movement, incorporating music, drama and literature.
Built in 1901, this "people's spa" is known as one of the most beautiful public baths in Europe with its elegant Jugendstil "young style" curves (German art nouveau).
Cottbus, a banal industrial city near the Polish border, is worth a fast hour's drive on the autobahn from Berlin for its quirky Jugendstil theatre, and as an incentive to continue on to Wroclaw (the former Breslau), a repository of classic modern buildings.
The exhibit continues into the 19th century with German Romantic painting and even a fascinating look at pieces from the Jugendstil, the German expression of a movement better known to most of us as Art Nouveau.
But Riga has more besides--not only the Brick Gothic churches and the glories of Jugendstil, but the seaside.
As far as the compositions by the association members themselves are concerned, a characteristic feature is dependence on the sound world of Morton Feldman and, as one of the Brno audience aptly commented, a rather "Jugendstil Taste".