Nature: a source of inspiration

As the primary source of inspiration for Art Nouveau artists, nature is widely represented in the decorative arts of the period through the animal, and especially the plant world. This favorite theme had varying degrees of importance: sometimes simply decorative, painted or modeled on traditional or even historicist forms; sometimes constituting the very form of the object. Art Nouveau artists thus created a diversity of “bitter apple,” “crocus” and “fennel” vases, for example, initiating a reflection on object forms and freeing themselves from the weight of tradition and of the past which seemed to have dictated the forms of everyday objects. Gold and silver mounts – very popular in the Art Nouveau period – provided a further link between these natural themes and the decorative arts.

Les Arts Décoratifs, 107, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
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