Art Nouveau – “The Kiss” by Peter Behrens

The designer,Louis Comfort Tiffany, was famous for his stained glass lamps. He also designed jewellery.

Another designer from the Art Nouveau movement, Victor Horta, a Belgian architect known for wrought iron work, which was used and integrated into architectural designs.

A good example, is the Hotel Tassel Staircase in Brussels (1893). The design makes clear use of the whiplash line, which repeats the curvilinear lines in the floor decoration.

General characteristics:

Elements of Design seen in ART NOUVEAU:

Line: whiplash line or serpentine line. Curvilinear and languid lines that are continuous and create stylised shapes.

Shape and Form: Organic curvilinear shapes that reflect the rhythm of the whiplash line.

Colour: For interiors they used subtle and subdued pastel colours, e.g. pinks, yellows and greens. Flat matt colour contained within curving outlines, generally used for poster illustrations, e.g. Posters by Mucha. √

Principles of Design seen in ART NOUVEAU:

Balance: predominantly asymmetrical.

Contrast: Large and small forms. Cool colours against warm ones.

Movement: the repetition of the whiplash line creates a sense of movement.

Other characteristisc:
Subject matter: animals, birds and plants. Very stylised roses (Rennie Mackintosh), sunflowers, lilies and peacocks as well as sensuous female forms.
Products: textiles, ceramics, metal work, glassware, jewellery, furniture and architecture.
Materials: exotic materials, e.g. mother-of-pearl, lapis lazuli, ivory, iridescent coloured glass added to metal, ceramic jewellery ware and even furniture and wrought iron.

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