The Art Nouveau

The Art Nouveau

The Art Nouveau

The Art Nouveau

Excerpt

It is not the purpose of this book to examine all the aspects of the Art Nouveau in Europe and America. The sources are diverse and, in many instances, tangential to the mainstream of art history; examples in all branches of the pictorial arts are multitudinous; and, even now, some fifty years after the promulgation of its principles by Henry Van de Velde, the Art Nouveau as a style is not dead. However, the immediate impetus of the movement and the most important works executed to conform to its principles are to be found in western Europe -- chiefly in Belgium and France -- between 1895 and 1905. It is with this, the major phase of the Art Nouveau, that the present volume is concerned.

Much of the material on the style, per se, is available only in periodicals and art revues of the period, many of them now defunct. To understand the full impact of the Art Nouveau at the time when it was really a "new" art-style, it has been necessary to go back to these periodicals for both the illustrations and contemporary critical appraisals.

In this connection, I wish to thank Dr. Walter W. S. Cook of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York, and Professor Pierre Lavedan of the Institut d'Art et d'Archéologie, University of Paris, for their very helpful suggestions regarding the material to be incorporated in the text, and Mr. Alfred Barr, and Mr. Edgar Kaufmann of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, for their extremely valuable indications of source material and photographs.

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