What does Art Nouveau Stand for?

Art nouveau is an artistic and cultural trend that seeks to break with the dominant trends of the moment, modernizing art and urban culture with a strong decorative sense.

The art nouveau cultural movement arises at the end of the 19th century and remains until the beginning of the 20th century, seeking to contrast with industrialization after the second industrial revolution.


Art Nouveau uses motifs inspired by nature or organic materials to capture sensuality and eroticism in decorative art objects, characteristic of this movement.

Art nouveau covers the fields of painting, sculpture, literature, decoration, photography and design of jewelry, furniture and objects.

This current receives several names according to the language in which it is used. Despite being the best known French art nouveau, it also receives the name of modernism in Spanish, jugendstil in German, sezessionstil in Austrian and stile floreale in Italian.

Characteristics of art nouveau

The nouveau art is characterized by the presence of elements of nature, emphasizing its Rebel lines as an analogy to freedom from industrialization. It is highly decorative, becoming defined by subsequent currents as an excessive ornamentation movement.

In addition, this movement combines several cultural references in order to enhance the aesthetic and artistic qualities of the object, such as the use of Byzantine motifs, Japanese prints and influences of French Baroque and Rococo.

Art nouveau architecture

Image of the Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City

The art nouveau current explores its influence not only on paintings, but its impact is especially important in the field of architecture.

The art nouveau style in architecture begins to be used and recognized in the world, after the Belgian architect Victor Horta (1861-1947) finished the Tassel house in 1893.

In Mexico, some architectural works of influence to rt nouveau can still be found in Mexico City , such as the Palace of Fine Arts, the Iron Palace building, the Prunes House and the UNAM Museum of Geology.

Works and representatives of art nouveau

The search for beauty, associated with pleasure, sensuality and, for the first time, eroticism, is one of the distinctive features of art nouveau .

This can be seen reflected in the works of the Czech artist Alfons Maria Mucha (1860-1939), considered the father of this artistic current, and in the painting The Kiss of the Austrian painter Gustav Klim t (1898-1908).

In literature, better known as modernism, Nicaraguan Rubén Darío is considered one of his precursors.

In architecture the Belgians Goh see Wayans and Victor Horta and the Catalan Antoni Gaudí stand out. That stands out with La Sagrada Familia.