Why did the École de Nancy make its mark on the history of Art Nouveau ?

Art Nouveau is a style that is mainly recognised by its curved lines. This artistic movement was born at the beginning of the twentieth century to counteract the excesses of industrialisation. This style has evolved over the last decades. Nevertheless, Art Nouveau remains true to its distinctive characteristics.

What is Art Nouveau ?

The Modern style or Art Nouveau appeared towards the end of the 19th century. As you already know, this style suddenly emerged in the 20th century in order to limit the excesses of the industrial revolution. Indeed, the old styles were reproduced in an industrial way at that time. The artists of the time quickly understood the dangers of over-industrialisation and reacted accordingly. Indeed, the movement soon developed worldwide thanks to the work of artists from different countries. There is Louis Comfort Tiffany in the USA, Jugendstil in Germany, Nieuwe Kunst in the Netherlands, Stile Liberty in Italy, Modern in Russia, Sapin style in Switzerland, Sezessionstil in Austria and Modernismo in Spain. A little anecdote, you should know that the name Art Nouveau was massively imposed in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the 20th century.

Evolution of Art Nouveau

The Art Nouveau movement evolved in three major stages. The first period is marked by Greenhalgh who came to public attention between 1893 and 1895. Then there is a period during which the movement develops rapidly and finds its way into various cultural circles. This period was between 1895 and 1900. And the third period is characterised by the stability of the movement. Art Nouveau suffered much criticism and disappeared during the First World War. After the 1920s, the Modern Art style became less and less valued and criticism of it increased. It was gradually replaced by Art Deco.

École de Nancy and Art Nouveau

It originated in 1894 with Charles André's exhibition of different types of art at Poirel. Then, the commission of the event agreed to set up the Société des arts décoratifs lorrains. It is worth noting that this was the first time that artists from Nancy held a joint exhibition. Then, the Association of the École de Nancy was created in February 1901. Its aim was to promote the cultural field in Nancy, to develop original methods to unify the members' productions and to keep a certain autonomy. It is important to mention that it brought together people from different sectors. From artists to entrepreneurs, and of course craftsmen and journalists. Art lovers were also present in large numbers.

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