She mesmerised with flowing curves and smooth surfaces. She enticed eyes and minds with bewitching visuals of religious icons and mythical creatures, of nature interweaving with the femme fatale.
The Art Nouveau period (1880 – 1915) was a fresh artistic vocabulary that could best express modernity. It seduced France with its fairy-tale allure.
Working in cities like Paris, Art Nouveau designers found greatest inspiration in nature — not necessarily nature’s beauty, but instead its vital force, its never-changing life cycle of birth, life, decay and death.
Art Nouveau was not only defined in painting but also to architecture, furniture, jewellery, fabrics and all types of interior and exterior design.
Mirrored in the works such as Alphonse Mucha, artists explored the unconscious dream world through this idea of ‘super natural’ beauty.
At this time there was much interest in famous performers like Sarah Bernhardt, the dancer Loie Fuller, the nightclub performer Jane Avril.
As always in art, women were principal muses yet the female in Art Nouveau limelight took a more ambiguous role. In an era when women were increasingly independent – the Art Nouveau woman had a menacing twist. She was charmingly sexual but also scandalous.
Intricate and euphoric, the Art Nouveau lady has become a nostalgic symbol of the romance behind vintage Paris.
Are you a fan of the Art Nouveau style?