An Ornamental Style Movement
The Art Nouveau movement lasted from 1890 until 1910 in Europe and the United States. This movement was heavily influenced by its predecessors Aestheticism and the Arts and Crafts Movement. Art Nouveau is characterized by its use of a long, flowing, organic line and was employed most often in architecture, interior design, jewelry and glass design, posters, and illustration. The movement was a deliberate attempt to create a fresh style, free of the imitative historicism that dominated much of 19th-century art and design. The term ‘Art Nouveau’ was coined in Belgium by the periodical L’Art Moderne. The style was called Jugendstil in Germany, Sezessionstil in Austria, Stile Floreale (or Stile Liberty) in Italy, and Modernismo (or Modernista) in Spain.
The graphic arts flourished in the Art Nouveau period, thanks to the technological advancement of printing. The most popular theme of Art Nouveau posters was women. The women in these posters symbolized glamour, modernity, and beauty. They were often surrounded by flowers and other elements from nature. Color lithography allowed the mass production of color posters. Art was no longer confined to galleries or museums. This would lead to Art Nouveau to circulate throughout Europe, to the United States, and around the world