Examples of Art Nouveau can be found all over the world, if you know what to look for. Art Nouveau is more than an art style; it is an attitude. Art Nouveau puts forth the idea that life is beautiful, and as a result, artists must pull inspiration from the flowing, organic lines found in nature, the way grass bends in the wind, the way a vine winds up a trellis or the way flowers curl around each other as they seek the sun. This art style transports natural forms into architecture, jewelry, hardware, furniture and fine paintings and sculptures. To help you familiarize yourself with the appearance of this art style, you may want to check out these classic examples of Art Nouveau.
Posters by Alfons Mucha
Alfons Mucha started the Art Nouveau movement with his poster for the play Gismonda. When this poster, which featured free-flowing lines and an ethereal depiction of a beautiful woman, became popular, Mucha made a career of producing more work in this style. His work is known for epitomizing the use of natural influences to create beautiful images that run contrary to rigid rules that were common in classical art.
Hotel Tassel by Victor Horta in Brussels
For the ultimate example of Art Nouveau in a hotel, you will want to visit Hotel Tassel in Brussels to see the famous work of architect Victor Horta. Even the staircases exude natural beauty, with swooping, curving lines and gorgeous patterns winding their ways up the molding and walls in a seductive manner. Horta designed several houses and hotels in this style.
Artwork by Rene Lalique
In Paris, Lalique took Art Nouveau ideals to the heart of the jewelry makers of France. Lalique used molded glass to create fashionable jewelry featuring birds, dragonflies and flowers.
Subway Entrances Designed by Hector Guimard
Even some public buildings were transformed during the Art Nouveau period. After seeing Horta's Hotel Tassel, Guimard was inspired to design elegant subway entrances throughout Paris. These are considered some of the finest Art Nouveau works ever produced.
Lamps by Louis Comfort Tiffany
The bases of Tiffany lamps often feature strong Nouveau elements, with curved forms and molded vines winding their way around the center. The stained glass shades of Tiffany lamps are wonderful examples of Art Nouveau in everyday life, particularly the Dragonfly series.
You can find examples of Art Nouveau all throughout Europe, especially in France and Brussels. Art history buffs will find it well worth their time to include tours of these spots if they wish to study Art Nouveau in depth.