Art Timeline  
  1 c. 15000 - 5000 BC Prehistoric Art
  2 5000 BC - 5ОО BC The Art of the Ancient Kingdoms of Egypt - Aegean Art
  3-4 5ОО вс - 12th century The Art of the Greeks
  5-6 5ОО вс - 12th century Italic Art
  7-8-9 12th century (1100-1199) The Early Christians  Art - Byzantine Art
  10-11 13th century (1200-1299) Gothic Art
  12 14th century (1300-1399) Gothic Art - International Style
  13 15th century (1400-1499) The Early Renaissance
  14 16th century (1500-1599) The High Renaissance
  15-16 16th century (1500-1599) Mannerism
  17-18-19-20 17th century (1600-1699) Baroque
  21-22 18th century (1700-1799) Rococo
  23-24-25-26-27-28-29 19th century(1800–1899) Neoclassical - Romanticism
    19th century (1863-1899) Impressionism Timeline
    19th century (1860-1899) Simbolism
    20th century(1900-1999) ART OF THE 20TH CENTURY
19th century (1800-1899)
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
The Mediterranean Countries
We have still to consider Italy and Spain. It was only in the second half of the 19th century that Italy became a unified state. The crucial year was 1861, when Victor Emmanuel was crowned King of Italy. (Serfdom was abolished in Russia in the same year.) Though the nationalists ardently desired that Rome should be the capital of the new state, it remained merely the capital of the Pontifical States. And so it might have remained, had not the French defeat by the Prussian army at Sedan in 1870 and France's subsequent capitulation led to the withdrawal from the city of French troops.
In Italy as in Spain, innovative art forms developed mainly in the great industrial and commercial centres of the North, particularly in Milan and Barcelona. The style was frequently derived from the most graceful - and insipid - forms of French Symbolist art. This description summarizes the works of the Spanish artists Juan Brull-Vinolas (1863— 1912) and Adria Gual-Queralt (1872-1944). Brull-Vinolas attended the Barcelona School of Fine Arts before studying in Paris, where he took up residence. In addition to his work as a painter, Gual-Queralt was a prominent stage director and taught acting. He played a significant role in the theatre and was one of the major figures of the Catalan modernist movement.

French influence also made itself felt in Italy, for example in the work of Gaetano Previati (1852-1920) who at one stage of his career produced "decadent" and "mystic" works. Motherhood was exhibited in Milan in 1891 and provoked a lively polemic, earning him an invitation to the Parisian Rose+Croix Salon. Previati's Paolo and Francesca (1901) is very much in French Symbolist style, while the execution of his 1907 Eroica in which the pigment is applied in dynamic (divisionist) stripes, offers a foretaste of Futurism а la Boccioni.

Gaetano Previati

(b Ferrara, 31 Aug 1852; d Lavagna, 21 June 1920). 

Italian painter and writer. He was one of the leading exponents of Divisionism, 
particularly skilled at large-scale decorative schemes, and especially important 
for his writings on technique and theory.


Gaetano Previati

Gaetano Previati
The Three Marys at the Foot of the Cross

Gaetano Previati
Dance of the Hours

Gaetano Previati

Gaetano Previati
Nel prato

Gaetano Previati 
Paolo and Francesca

Gaetano Previati
Giovanni Segantini (1858-1899), who died at the age of thirty-nine, had a singularly unfortunate childhood. After his mother's death, his father abandoned him in the streets of Milan. He spent three years (from twelve to fifteen) in a reform school, and it was thanks to the director of this establishment that he was accepted by the Brera Academy, then attended by many outstanding artists. He practised first a naturalist vein, then pointillism, and turned to Symbolism when he was past thirty. It was at this point that he was suddenly taken with a passion for literature and philosophy. Withdrawing into the Grison mountains, he began to read Maeterlinck, d'Annunzio, Goethe and Nietzsche, and to study Indian philosophy.
His admiration for Nietzsche is expressed in the frontispiece he drew for the Italian translation of Thus Spake Zarathustra.

Inspired by traditional representations of the Annunciation, it bears the title TheAnnunciation of the New Word. On the wall of the garden in which the scene unfolds can be read: "May the children of thy womb be beautiful for love, strong for battle, and intelligent for victory"
A painting such as Love at the Springs of Life (1896) is overwhelmingly Symbolist, in the pantheism inspired by the Alpine landscape and in the winged figure sitting by the spring. A letter from the artist to a friend confirms its symbolic content: The painting "represents the joyful and carefree love of the woman and the pensive love of the man wreathed in the natural impulses of youth and of springtime. The path they follow is narrow and bordered with rhododendrons in bloom, and they are dressed in white (a pictorial representation of lilies). 'Eternal love', say the red rhododendrons, "eternal hope," replies the evergreen privet. An angel, a mystical and suspicious angel, spreads its great wing over the mysterious fountain of Life. The water flows out of a bare rock, both of which are symbols of eternity." The artist's language reflects the tenor of his philosophical meditations in his mountain retreat.


Giovanni Segantini
Love at the Springs of Life

Giovanni Segantini
The Punishment of Luxury
Alberto Martini (1876-1954) was above all an outstanding illustrator, as witness the splendid Indian ink drawings he executed in 1908 to illustrate the Tales of Edgar Allan Poe. The terror of Poe's work is evoked by the way the black ink devours the white page like a dark cloud hiding the moon and by the energetic dramatisation of attitudes. In his youth, Martini studied the drawings of such 16th century German artists as Durer and Cranach. 
He also illustrated the writings of Dante, Boccaccio, Mallarmй, Verlaine and Rimbaud. He lived in Paris from 1928 to 1931, and the Surrealists, seeing affinities between his work and their own, made overtures to Martini but were rebuffed.
Alberto Martini

Alberto Martini

(b Oderzo, nr Treviso, 24 Nov 1876; d Milan, 8 Nov 1954). 

Italian painter and engraver. His early paintings, such as the Sacred River Isonzo (1892), were not given serious consideration by critics at the time. He is more highly regarded for the vast number of drawings that he produced and that gained him his first recognition at the Venice Biennale in 1897, where he had on display 14 drawings from the anthology La corte dei miracoli. He concentrated mainly on illustrating famous literary works such as Pulci’s Morgante maggiore, Tassoni’s La secchia rapita (1895), the Divina commedia (1901–2) and the Tales of E. A. Poe, which occupied him until 1909. His drawings for these publications show the influence of Bosch, Pieter Bruegel I, Durer, Lucas Cranach I and Albrecht Altdorfer, whose work he had studied in Munich. This is particularly noticeable in the recurrent depiction of a real world controlled by spirits and monstrous and deformed demonic beings. For these reasons critics have treated Martini, together with de Chirico and Alberto Savinio, as one of the precursors of Surrealism, though he never officially subscribed to it despite his lengthy stay in Paris from 1928 onwards and his direct acquaintance with Andrй Breton. The series Women–Butterflies (1915–20) bears witness to his proto-Surrealism, expressed as a synthesis of Symbolist references combined with Liberty stylization and elegance and dreamlike distortions, as in the black-and-white lithograph, subsequently hand-coloured, entitled Felina (1915; Oderzo, Pin. Com. Alberto Martini).

Alberto Martini


of Edgar Allan Poe

It is now easy to see why Symbolism was finally swept aside by the triumph of Modernism. The Great War marked such a break with the past that young people in the twenties might easily entertain the disquieting sense of living in a completely different world. A modicum of critical sense was sufficient for young people who had firsthand experience of the war to be disgusted by the propaganda of either side. And this led them to question the values that they were exhorted to defend. The First World War was experienced by the leading intellectuals of the period as the suicide of Europe. This suicide was first and foremost cultural, and it is significant that the Surrealists sought to destroy the vestiges of culture that had survived.
The first notion to be discarded was that of "decadence". It had outlived its purpose. But what was to take its place? For some, the answer was "primitivism", that putative ally of progress and modernity. Like Decadence, Primitivism was a specious concept lacking serious foundation, but it carried conviction; people felt that they understood it. In 1926, when Alexander Calder first arrived in Paris, his friends hastened to explain that it was better to be a primitive than a decadent. Calder possessed a child's love of play and a thoroughly American faith in "nature"; he consequently chose to be a primitive. In practice, this meant that he did not trouble to acquire a demanding - and perhaps stifling - technique; instead, he trusted his own impulses. These were supposed to be ground-breaking, and in many cases, so it proved.

Meanwhile, the theorization of the unconscious in terms of libidinal economy had occurred, and it seemed likely that this was an ultimate truth. The atom could not be split; there was nothing beyond or behind the libido. The primary point of reference here was Freud. But there was also Nietzsche and, further afield, the Marxist notion of ideology; further afield again was the crudely articulated Darwinian concept of the struggle for life, another of the fundamental "truths" which moralising sentimentality had shielded from sight. This was one of the conclusions drawn from the savagery of the war. It was therefore necessary to unmask the contents of the unconscious and its hidden drives. The Surrealists set about fulfilling this programme, discarding Symbolist idealisation on the way.
The great political powerhouse of the time was the 1917 Revolution and the extraordinary upheavals that it had initiated. No more talk of "other worlds"; there was a new world to create. Art must henceforth serve a social purpose (we rememberOdilon Redon's revulsion from this idea). Without troubling themselves about the nature of artistic creation, intellects argued at length over the form in which the artist should serve society. Symbolism was tainted with the image of des Esseintes, of the solitary artist indulging in sterile and private experiments. In the Soviet Union, Stalin imposed his own brutal, elementary solution to the problem.

These were some of the reasons, good and bad, that led to the rejection of all things Symbolist. Each generation makes its selection. Many artists fell into oblivion, some of them deservedly; others were recategorised. Gauguin, for instance, one day ceased to be a Symbolist and became something more acceptable: a "primitive". Had he not proclaimed himself a savage? Why take the trouble to find out what he meant by the word when it seemed so obvious that he sought the substratum of authenticity in man? But was it so obvious? It seems likely that Gauguin was referring with painful nostalgia to the only truly savage period in life, that of early childhood. Gauguin was brought up in Peru, and when he left the country at the age of seven, he experienced his departureas a tragic, irreversible exile.
Artists of more radical temper sought to bring an end to the conventional discourse of art; they hailed the death of art.

Marcel Duchamp
Young Man and Girl in Spring

Francis Picabia
Star Dancer on a Transatlantic Steamer

Francis Picabia
Paroxysm of Pain
In France, Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia ("Where is modern art going? To the shithouse!") were of this tendency. Even before the First World War, the Futurists had attempted to break with the past. These provocative and hyperbolic procedures were necessary, particulary in Italy, if contemporary mentalities were not to stand in their way. (Spain's turn came much later, with Bufiuel and Dalf.) Machines were the Futurist theme par excellence, but a fascination with machines and, above all, with the car can also be found in the work of Picabia and Duchamp. Picabia painted several works whose titles suggest that they are portraits, but which in fact represent an engine or mechanism (Star Dancer on a Transatlantic Steamer and Paroxysm of Pain).

The revolutionary brilliance of Marcel Duchamp's work was widely hailed as a complete break with the past. And it was, of course, a break with facile pre-First World Waraestheticism. But, pace modernist theory, one can also detect a real continuity with the past in certain aspects of his work. How could things be otherwise? Every rebellion bears the mark of the oppression which gave rise to it. Duchamp's The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) and his Given. both deal with the paradigmatic Symbolist subject: Woman. But in these works she is no longer fatale, she is simply and utterly inaccessible. A new predicament is presented. Symbolist Woman was a source of anxiety because moral codes had been 'blurred'; in Duchamp's sardonic perspective, Woman is inaccessible not because the codes are uncertain, but because they have been completely rejected.


Max Ernst
The Clothing of the Bride

Paul Delvaux

Umberto Boccioni
States of Mind I:Those Who Leave
This becomes clear in relation to the cardboard box (la boite verte) into which Duchampinserted all the torn-up bits of paper on which he had noted ideas relating to The LargeGlass. Duchamp's procedure constituted a cynical and mechanistic presentation of the sexual act ("As if an alien had sought to imagine this kind of operation," as Andrй Breton put it); a sexual act of which The Large Glass, in its austerity, offers no explicit narrative. By contrast, Given offers an illusionistic, three-dimensional representation of a recumbent naked woman whose legs are spread open towards the spectator. Her inaccessibility is signified by the fact that she can be seen only through two holes pierced in a barn door - which cannot be opened.
The absence of all narrative content was one of the first rules of modern art, as evinced in the works of Picasso and Matisse. But like the religious or mythological art of the past, the works of Duchamp cited above do present the spectator with a complex narrative derived, in this case, not from myth or scripture but from the artist himself. Perhaps, then, Duchamp simply reversed the Symbolist values that had prevailed during his youth, substituting irony for the ideal.
As Picabia's first wife, Gabrielle Buffet, reports, in 1910 Duchamp and Picabia began "an extraordinary rivalry in destructive, paradoxical statements, in blasphemy and inhumanity..." Even in the first decade of this century, they were attracted by the kind of radical cynicism whose consequences the impending war would so definitively and star-tlingly reveal. Duchamp and Picabia exposed the cynicism beneath the fine sentiments described by Thomas Mann as concealing the "individual's immense loss of value", a loss that "the war simply brought to a head, lending it concrete form and expression".
To understand the energies of Futurism and the need felt by its artists to savage consecrated values, one must attempt to imagine the often stifling context of the time. 
The constant transformation of people's way of life, ever faster means of communication, the development of the car ("An automobile driven at a hundred miles an hour is more beautiful than the Venus de Milo," proclaimed Marinetti, the theoretician of Futurism), made the obligation to venerate the past unendurable. And then the "Woman problem" that Symbolism so interminably ruminated on: what should be done about that? The Futurists chose to ignore the issue and proclaim their "scorn for Woman". In the same spirit they suggested filling up Venice's Grand Canal with concrete.
In the early part of his career Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916) painted works whose mood was not far removed from Symbolism. Two such are the semi-abstract paintings from States of Mind I: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (1911). The transition toward Futurism is apparent in the determination (present in Previati's Eroica) to escape the static model of eternal beauty and attempt to evoke movement by means other than those used by Romantics such as Delacroix. The photographic experiments of Muybridge and Marey had captured movement in process, and Duchamp and Balla had already tried to portray it.

De Chirico
Love Song
Surrealism, no less than Futurism, bears the unacknowledged imprint of Symbolism. This is true not only of the "proto-surrealist" work of Giorgio di Chirico but of certain works by Max Ernst; The Clothing of the Bride (1940) has clear affinities with Gustaves Moreau. Something similar may be said of Paul Delvaux, who, though he never used the painterly equivalent of "automatic writing", is universally regarded as aSurrealist. Yet the Symbolist filiations of his work are blindingly obvious. More recent artists, whose works of obsessive eroticism and cruelty display an unequivocally Symbolist heritage, are still classified, by force of habit or by sheer negligence, as lateSurrealists.

Max Ernst
The Antipope
Finally, we should not forget that such paradigms of modernism as Picasso, Kupka,Kandinsky and Malevich at one time painted in an idiom close to Symbolism and that some of them came to abstraction by extrapolating from the Symbolist tendency towards formal simplification. Abstraction may be considered the most demanding and Neo-Platonic aspect of Symbolism. In the course of the decades that have passed since the emergence of what we term "Symbolism", new ways of perceiving and explaining the world have emerged. The inadequacies of Symbolist theory are obvious enough; the inadequacies of modernist theory have become increasingly apparent. Underlying this opposition are divergent ways of viewing the world and man's destiny in it. Each seeks to justify itself and demonstrate that its hopes or despair have solid foundations. There can be no final verdict.
Art Nouveau
From the end of the 19th century until World War I, the general desire for something new and modern produced innovation in the arts across Europe. Sharing certain formal elements and theoretical bases, the "modern style" was known by different names in each country: Art Nouveau in France, the Liberty style in England, Jugendstil in Germany, Sezessionstil in Austria, Stile Liberty in Italy, and Modernista or Modernisme in Spain.
A combination of faith in the improvements that industrial society would bring and a rejection of stylistic eclecticism proved to be the impetus for the creation of a new artistic language that took its inspiration directly from nature. Rich in references to animals and plants and characterized by sinuous asymmetrical lines, the work was lively, highly decorative, and exciting.
The New Style

The new artistic language was based on an emphasis on "line-force'', which, according to the Belgian painter and architectHenri van de Velde, held the energy of the person that produced it. Part of its appeal was the desire to fulfil a fundamental theoretical principle of Modernism: the application of the same aesthetic criteria to all aspects of industrial production. From construction to cabinet-making, from ceramics to fashion, and from graphic design to wrought-iron work, the functional was combined with the decorative so that useful items could also be beautiful. The middle classes of modern society, rapidly gaining in economic status, now looked for artistic quality in the industrial products that they purchased. In the field of painting, they favoured organic and naturalistic themes, which were expressed through a new relationship between line and surface. Linear and curvilinear arabesques and cool, transparent colours made up compositions based on undulating rhythms in asymmetrical patterns. The thickness of "whiplash" and "dynamographic" lines was dependent on how much energy they were intended to hold.

Characterized as Art Nouveau, this clearly distinguishable style influenced the many artistic movements emerging from Post-Impressionist art, such as the Nabis and the Symbolists, in the last decade of the century. In central Europe, among the members of the Secession, its influence resulted in works full of emotional expression, not just basic descriptive graphics. Henri van de Velde, English artist Walter Crane, the Germans Otto Eckmann and HermannObrist, and, above all, Gustav Klimt and Edvard Munch how decoration in art could have both sociological and existential meanings. Noted architects, painters, and sculptors, who had united in breakaway Secession groups,applied themselves to the design of household objects and furniture in the pursuit of a "global art1'. This would produce an overall harmony, in which there was "a reciprocal assimilation of an interior affinity" among all forms. Horta and van de Velde in Belgium, Guimard in France, Mackintosh in Scotland, Gaudi in Spain, Wagner, Olbrich, and Hoffmann in Austria, andBasile in Italy all used new techniques and materials in a modern, international language. The style was recognizable everywhere, even when it paid respect to local indigenous features, which ranged from Gothic to Rococo, from Celtic art to Moorish art.


In the first quarter of the 20th century, the influence of the new modern art styles reached even the smallest areas of artistic enterprise, including that of pastry-making. During the Second Empire and then in the belle epoque, pastry-making reached a particularly high level of artistry - the Sachertorte, a miraculous confection invented in Vienna and exclusive to the hotel of the same name, is still enjoyed today. The Modern style, and later Art Deco, had a particular influence on the decoration of pastries, determining its overall style, range of colours, and ornamental details. The art of pastry-making lives on in many European countries, and the finished products are as visually pleasing and appetizing as those that delighted gourmets a century ago. To many devotees, the perfectly-made tart, cake, or pastry is considered more delicate and ephemeral than any piece of pottery, its aesthetic appearance at least as important as its taste.

Modern Art
painting, sculpture, architecture, and graphic arts characteristic of the 20thcentury and of the later part of the 19th century. Modern art embraces a wide variety of movements, theories, and attitudes whose modernism resides particularly in a tendency to reject traditional, historical, or academic forms and conventions in an effort to create an art more in keeping with changed social, economic, and intellectual conditions.

The beginnings of modern painting cannot be clearly demarcated, but there is general agreement that it started in 19th-century France. The paintings of Gustave Courbet, Edouard Manet, and the Impressionists represent a deepening rejection of the prevailing academic tradition and a quest for a more naturalistic representation of the visual world. These painters' Postimpressionist successors can be viewed as more clearly modern in their repudiation of traditional techniques and subject matter and their expression of a more subjective personal vision. From about the 1890s on, a succession of varied movements and styles arose that are the core of modern art and that represent one of the high points of Western visual culture. These modern movements include Neo-Impressionism, Symbolism, Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Expressionism, Suprematism, Constructivism, Metaphysical painting, De Stijl, Dada, Surrealism, Social Realism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, Op art, Minimal art, and Neo-Expressionism. Despite the enormous variety seen in these movements, most of them are characteristically modern in their investigation of the potentials inherent within the painting medium itself for expressing a spiritual response to the changed conditions of life in the 20th century. These conditions include acceleratedtechnological change, the expansion of scientific knowledge and understanding, the seeming irrelevance of some traditional sources of value and belief, and an expanding awareness of non-Western cultures.

An important trend throughout the 20th century has been that of abstract, or nonobjective, art—i.e., art in which little or no attempt is made to objectively reproduce or depict the appearances or forms of objects in the realm of nature or the existing physical world. It should also be noted that the development of photography and of allied photomechanical techniques of reproduction has had an obscure but certainly important influence on the development of modern art, because these mechanical techniques freed (or deprived) manually executed drawing and painting of their hitherto crucial role as the only means of accurately depicting the visible world.

Modern architecture arose out of the rejection of revivals, classicism, eclecticism, and indeed alladaptations of past styles to the building types of industrializing late 19th- and 20th-century society. It also arose out of efforts to create architectural forms and styles that would utilize and reflect the newly available building technologies of structural iron and steel, reinforced concrete, and glass. Until the spread of Postmodernism, modern architecture also implied the rejection of the applied ornament and decoration characteristic of premodern Western buildings. The thrust of modern architecture has been a rigorous concentration on buildings whose rhythmical arrangement of masses and shapes states a geometric theme in light and shade. This development has been closely tied to the new building types demanded by an industrialized society, such as office buildings housing corporate management or government administration. Among the most important trends and movements of modern architecture are the Chicago School, Functionalism, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, De Stijl, the Bauhaus, the International Style, the New Brutalism, and Postmodernism.

Art Deco
also called Style Moderne, movement in the decorative arts and architecture that originated in the 1920s and developed into a major style in western Europe and the United States during the 1930s. Its name was derived from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925, where the style was first exhibited. Art Deco design represented modernism turned into fashion. Its products included both individually crafted luxury items and mass-produced wares, but, in either case, the intention was to create a sleek and antitraditional elegance that symbolized wealth and sophistication.

The distinguishing features of the style are simple, clean shapes, often with a “streamlined” look; ornament that is geometric or stylized from representational forms; and unusually varied, often expensive materials, which frequently include man-made substances (plastics, especially bakelite; vita-glass; and ferroconcrete) in addition to natural ones (jade, silver, ivory, obsidian, chrome, and rock crystal). Though Art Deco objects were rarely mass-produced, the characteristic features of the style reflected admiration for the modernity of the machine and for the inherent design qualities of machine-made objects (e.g., relative simplicity, planarity, symmetry, and unvaried repetition of elements).

Encyclopædia Britannica

Art Nouveau
Burne-Jones in turn attracted the veneration of Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898), probably the most remarkable English illustrator of the industrial age. He too was a precocious talent: at the age of fifteen he had illustrated his favourite books (Madame Bovary, Manon Lescaut). By the time of his death at the age of twenty-six (he died of of tuberculosis, in Menton, where he had gone in search of a favourableclimate), he had made a lasting impact on the art of illustration. It was a field in which a number of outstanding artists were then working, including Walter Crane, co-founder with William Morris of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society.

Aubrey Beardsley


Charles Rennie Mackintosh and 
Herbert MacNair
Poster: "The Scottish Musical Rewiew"

Mahlon Blaine
Aubrey Vincent Beardsley

born August 21, 1872, Brighton, Sussex, England 
died March 16, 1898, Menton, France 

in full Aubrey Vincent Beardsley the leading English illustrator of the 1890s and, after Oscar Wilde, the outstanding figure in the Aestheticism movement.

Drawing was a strong interest from early childhood, and Beardsley practiced it while earning his living as a clerk. Beardsley's meeting with the English artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones in 1891 prompted him to attend evening classes at the Westminster School of Art for a few months, his only professional instruction.


Aubrey Vincent Beardsley
Silhouette of Aubrey Beardsley
  In 1893 Beardsley was commissioned to illustrate a new edition of Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur, and in 1894 he was appointed art editor and illustrator of a new quarterly, The Yellow Book. His illustrations (1894) for Oscar Wilde's play Salomй won him widespread notoriety. He was greatly influenced by the elegant, curvilinear style of Art Nouveau and the bold sense of design found in Japanese woodcuts. But what startled his critics and the public alike was the obvious sensuality of the women in his drawings, which usually contained an element of morbid eroticism. This tendency became pronounced in his openly licentious illustrations (1896) for Aristophanes' Lysistrata . Although Beardsley was not homosexual, he was dismissed from The Yellow Book as part of the general revulsion against Aestheticism that followed the scandal surrounding Wilde in 1895. He then became principal illustrator of another new magazine, The Savoy, and he illustrated numerous books, including in 1896 Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock. During this period he also wrote some poems and a prose parody, Under the Hill (1903; the original, unexpurgated version,The Story of Venus and Tannhauser, appeared in 1907).

Delicate in health from the age of six, when he first contracted tuberculosis, Beardsley again fell victim to the disease when he was 17. From 1896 he was an invalid. In 1897, after being received into the Roman Catholic church, he went to live in France, where he died at age 25. His work has enjoyed periodic revivals, most notably during the 1960s.

It was through Burne-Jones that, in 1891, Beardsley, then aged eighteen, met Oscar Wilde. Wilde was writing his Salome in French (Arthur Douglas subsequently translated it into English), and asked Beardsley to illustrate it.

 Beardsley's drawings are admirably suited to the technical possibilities of industrial reproduction. Ambitious and supremely gifted, the young artist developed a perverse and playfully theatrical style partly inspired by Greek vase painting. The venomous elegance of his drawings has an ornamental rhythm akin to the abstract decorations of Islamic palaces. For Salome, Beardsley ironically appropriated the decadent theme of the evil, emasculating woman. His characters are often grotesque - notably in drawings he later described as "naughty", representing, for example, grimacing "Gobbi" afflicted with monumentally tumescent phalluses. As a homosexual, Beardsley did not experience the anguish awoken in artists by the problematic state of relations between the sexes. Wilde described Beardsley's muse as having "moods of terrible laughter".

Beardsley and Mackintosh

The young English illustrator Aubrey Beardsley (1872-98) came to the critics' attention with his 300 drawings for a version of Malory'sMorte d'Arthur, which was published by William Morris' Kelmscott Press. He also developed his own unique stylistic mark, based on very artificial figures, immersed in ornamental detail that was secondary but distinct in its superficial elegance and fine line work. A prolificillustrator who only worked in black and white, he skilfully translated the aesthetic spirit of the hedonistic fin de siecle culture into his illustrations for Oscar Wilde's Salome, published in 1894. Rich in hidden metaphors and perverse erotic details, the drawings are a sophisticated expression of a cerebral art form. With these and other works published in The Studio from 1893 and in The Yellow
Book from 1894, Beardsley exerted a great influence over graphic art in Europe and, especially, in the US. In the field of furniture, contrasting with the exuberant and precious ornamentation of the French style, and in particular with that of the Ecole de Nancy where echoes of Rococo were still present, a more rational and controlled use of line was adopted in Britain. Greater attention was paid to practicality, anticipating furniture design in the 20th century. In Scotland, the designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) formed The Glasgow Four with Herbert MacNair and the sisters Margaret and Frances Macdonald. The distinguishing points of their style were the preference for straight lines and geometrical shapes, rather than curved lines and organic shapes, and a symmetry of composition based on aligned and parallel elements. In 1897, Mackintosh started on a large architectural project - the design of the Glasgow School of Art. It is an austere, compact building, with a "disturbed symmetry" due to the presence of some asymmetrical elements. The features of his rigorously simple architecture, as seen in the Glasgow School of Art and in some privately commissioned houses, are also to be found in his production of furniture, which helped to spread the style internationally. He abandoned the use of colour and precious decorative detail, adopting instead the exclusive, sharp black-and-white design of varnished wood and a grid design with chequered bars (which he claimed was of Japanese derivation), seen in his famous high-backed chair.


Two chairs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh:
left, 1900, from the Hunlerian Art Gallery, Glasgow University; 
above, 1897, from the antiquarian market, Glasgow.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Glasgow School of Art library, 1897-99. 
The design for this austere building is based on regular, rectilinear rhythms

Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Harvest Moon
Mahlon Blaine

1894 - 1969

Mahlon Blaine was a twentieth century American artist who is remembered chiefly today for his brilliant illustrations to many books, both children's and adult. His mastery of line was, and remains, unique and masterful. Likened, rightfully, to Aubrey Beardsley, Blaine was another original mind, and his interest in portraying the animal nature of humanity lost him a wider audience.
The only monograph on the artist so far published is The Art of Mahlon Blaine (Peregrine Books, 1982), and this wonderful book, which includes a deep insight into the artist by his colleague Gershon Legman, contains a good cross-section of Blaine's colour and b-&-w art and an excellent bibliography of Blaine books compiled by Roland Trenary.
Many other books illustrated by Blaine turn up commonly in secondhand bookshops: his illustrated versions of Voltaire's Candide and Sterne's A Sentimental Journey are frequently encountered. These books are good examples of his work, but the enthusiast is advised to pursue the many other Blaine-illustrated books, especially the weird-fantastic fiction titles so perfectly-suited to his work. 

Blaine's early life is cloaked in misdirection and deliberate misinformation. The first published biographical article about him in 1929 (or was it 1927?) is total fabrication. The gullible interviewer, Anice Peg Cooper, swallowed the blarney whole and reported it as fact. Likewise this 1927 fabrication below. It's from the rear of the dust jacket of Hugh Clifford's The Further Side of Silence and appeared below the illustration at left:
"Mahlon Blaine has illustrated these Malayan dramas with the magic of his own experience. A New England Quaker descended from staunch old New Bedford Whalers, Mahlon Blaine went to sea at fifteen and sailed before the mast in one of the last of the old wind-jammers. Then under steam he commuted from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic, to the Mediterranean, to the Arctic to all of Kipling's Seven seas where a merchantman seeks cargo. It is such eastern ports as Macao, Port Said, Hongkong, Pearl Harbor, that have given him his gallery of wicked, twisted Oriental faces and the museums of the world that have been his art schools. He has sailed up the Congo to the make a collection of African masks, rescued fellow countrymen from jails in Indo-China, and nosed into many a Malay river for strange cargo and shipped many a Malay crew. He thinks that Sir Hugh Clifford has an uncanny knowledge of native psychology and can substantiate many of the stories by his own experiences."


Mahlon Blaine

Mahlon Blaine
Mahlon Blaine
Art Nouveau

ornamental style of art that flourished between about 1890and 1910 throughout Europe and the United States. Art Nouveau is characterized by its use of a long, sinuous, organic line and was employed most often in architecture, interior design, jewelry and glass design, posters, and illustration. It was a deliberate attempt to create a new style, free of the imitative historicism that dominated much of 19th-century art and design. Art Nouveau developed first in England and soon spread to the European continent, where it was called Jugendstil in Germany, Sezessionstil in Austria, Stile Floreale (or Stile Liberty) in Italy, and Modernismo (or Modernista) in Spain. The term Art Nouveau was coined by a gallery in Paris that exhibited much of this work.

In England the style's immediate precursors were the Aestheticism of the illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, who depended heavily on the expressive quality of organic line, and the Arts and Crafts Movement of William Morris, who established the importance of a vital style in the applied arts. On the European continent, Art Nouveau was also influenced by experiments with expressive line by the painters Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The movement was also partly inspired by a vogue for the linear patterns of Japanese prints (ukiyo-e).

The distinguishing ornamental characteristic of Art Nouveau is its undulating, asymmetrical line, often taking the form of flower stalks and buds, vine tendrils, insect wings, and other delicate and sinuous natural objects; the line may be elegant and graceful or infused with a powerfully rhythmic and whiplike force. In the graphic arts the line subordinates all other pictorial elements—form, texture, space, and colour—to its own decorative effect. In architecture and the other plastic arts, the whole of the three-dimensional form becomes engulfed in the organic, linear rhythm, creating a fusion between structure and ornament. Architecture particularly shows this synthesis of ornament and structure; a liberal combination of materials—ironwork, glass, ceramic, and brickwork—was employed, for example, in the creation of unified interiors in which columns and beams became thick vines with spreading tendrils and windows became both openings for light and air and membranous outgrowths of the organic whole. This approach was directly opposed to the traditional architectural values of reason and clarity of structure.

There were a great number of artists and designers who worked in the Art Nouveau style. Some of the more prominent were the Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who specialized in a predominantly geometric line and particularly influenced the Austrian Sezessionstil; the Belgian architects Henry van de Velde and Victor Horta, whose extremely sinuous and delicate structures influenced the French architect Hector Guimard, another important figure; the American glassmaker Louis Comfort Tiffany; the French furniture and ironwork designer Louis Majorelle; the Czechoslovakian graphic designer-artist Alphonse Mucha; the French glass and jewelry designer Renй Lalique; the American architect Louis Henry Sullivan, who used plantlike Art Nouveau ironwork to decorate his traditionally structured buildings; and the Spanish architect and sculptor Antonio Gaudн, perhaps the most original artist of the movement, who went beyond dependence on line to transform buildings into curving, bulbous, brightly coloured, organic constructions.

After 1910 Art Nouveau appeared old-fashioned and limited and was generally abandoned as a distinct decorative style. It was important, however, in moving toward the 20th-century aesthetic of unity of design.

Encyclopædia Britannica


 The Dancer's Reward
Alphonse Mucha 
Otto Eckmann

(b Hamburg, 19 Nov 1865; d Badenweiler, 11 June 1902). 

German designer, illustrator and painter. He trained as a businessman before entering the Kunst- und Gewerbeschule in Hamburg. He studied at the Kunst- und Gewerbeschule in Nuremberg and from 1885 attended the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. His early paintings are naturalistic landscapes but around 1890 he shifted towards Symbolism (e.g. the Four Ages of Life, 1893–4; untraced). In 1894 he decided to devote himself to the decorative arts. Encouraged by Justus Brinckmann, a collector and museum director, and Friedrich Deneken (later Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld), Eckmann studied the Japanese woodcut collection at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg. Using traditional Japanese techniques, he began producing his own woodcut designs in 1895. Three Swans on Dark Water (1895; Hamburg, Mus. Kst & Gew.) reflects a general preoccupation with late 19th-century music, art and literature with swans as symbolic images, and they were a frequent motif in many of his subsequent works. Eckmann’s woodcuts, as well as ornamental borders, vignettes, bookplates and other graphic designs, were illustrated in such periodicals as Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, Jugend and Pan. In 1899–1900 he collaborated with Karl Klingspor at Rudhardsche Schriftgiesserei, Offenbach, to develop a new typeface named Eckmann.

Otto Eckmann
The Coming of Spring
, tapestry, 1896
Hermann Obrist

(b Kilchberg, Switzerland, 23 May 1862; d Munich, 26 Feb 1927). 

Swiss artist, craftsman and teacher. After studying science and medicine at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (1885–7), he travelled in England and Scotland in 1887. There the Arts and Crafts Movement influenced his decision to turn his attentions to the applied arts. Following brief studies at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Karlsruhe and an apprenticeship as a potter, his ceramics and furniture won gold medals at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889. In 1890 he studied at the Académie Julian in Paris, before visiting Berlin and Florence, where he experimented in marble sculpture and established an embroidery studio in which his own designs could be carried out; he moved his studio to Munich in 1894.

Hermann Obrist
Design for a Memorial
Hermann Obrist
A Study of Moving
Henri van de Velde

The work of Henri van de Velde (1863-1957), Belgian painter, architect, theorist, and designer of furniture and objetsd'art, bore the same marks of dynamism and abstraction found in compatriot Victor Horta's final works. He was the chief continental advocate of the ideas of William Morris, sharing the search for a clear style with rational structures and similar concerns for the role of the artist in society. Van de Velde strongly supported the need to match art with industry, but his emphasis on the aesthetic value of this marriage meant that he did not believe in mass production. His contributions to the decorative arts - from door handles to complete interior plans for houses - mainly featured ribbonlike, sinuous lines bordering voids. The technique was dominated by a nervous charge that produced a synthetic and dynamic interpretation of the "whiplash" effect.


Henri van de Velde
Garden in Kalmhout
Van De Velde

(born April 3, 1863, Antwerp, Belg. - died Oct. 25, 1957, Zürich, Switz.) 

In full Henry Clemens Van De Velde Belgian architect and teacher who ranks with his compatriot Victor Horta as an originator of the Art Nouveau style, characterized by longsinuous lines derived from naturalisticforms.
By designing furniture and interiors for the Paris art galleries of Samuel Bing in 1896, van de Velde was responsible for bringing the Art Nouveau style to Paris. Buthe was interested not so much in the style as in the philosophy of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement in England. Van de Velde's most vital contributions to modern design were made as a teacher in Germany, where his name became known through the exhibition of furnished interiors at Dresden in 1897.
In 1902 he went to Weimar as artistic adviser to the grand duke of Saxe-Weimar. There he reorganized the Kunstgewerbeschule (arts-and-crafts school) and the academy of fine art and thus laid the foundations for Walter Gropius' amalgamation of the two bodies into the Bauhaus in1919. Like the progressive German designers at the time, van de Velde was connected with the Deutscher Werkbund, and he designed the theatre for the Werkbund Exposition in Cologne in 1914.
Despite official appointments in Belgium, van de Velde after 1918 made no further contributions to architecture or design.A valuable extract from his Memoirs (1891–1901) was published in the Architectural Review, 112:143–148 (September 1952).


Henri van de Velde
Poster for a Tropon food product, 1898
Henry van de Velde
Weimar Academy of Fine Arts

Henri van de Velde
Henri van de Velde

Henri van de Velde
Henri van de Velde
Ecritoire et fauteuil

Henri van de Velde
Hotel "Otlet", 1894

Of all the Modernist architects, Henri van de Velde was the one who best translated and put into practice the theories ofEinfuhlung to give meaning to his work. He based his designs on the principle that every part must satisfy an aspect of the mind: one element would induce tranquility, another excitement, another surprise, and another relaxation. In a series of essays written between 1902 and 1903, van de Velde discussed the concept of the "speaking line", which he claimed to be a feature distinguishing every historical period and every civilization. He maintained that the slightest of movements, the subtlest change in rhythm, and the smallest variation in the timing or distance of emphasis were all responses to specific moods or states of mind. He defined the modern line as the malleable and elastic product flowing from a primitive current of energy. This was such a tangible and impatient force that it would not allow anything to get in between its points of departure and its final objective.

Interior of the Paris shop La Maison Moderne, designed for Julius Meier Graefe, 1898
Victor Horta

born Jan. 6, 1861, Ghent - died Sept. 8, 1947, Brussels 
an outstanding architect of the Art Nouveau style, who ranks with Henry van de Velde and Paul Hankar as a pioneer of modern Belgian architecture.
Trained at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, 1876–81, Horta became a pupil of the Neoclassical architect Alphonse Balat. His first independent building, the four-storied Hotel Tassel in Brussels (1892–93), was among the first continental examples of Art Nouveau, although it incorporated Neo-Gothic and Neo-Rococo stylistic elements. An important feature was its octagonal hall with a staircase leading to various levels. The curved line, characteristic of the Art Nouveau style, was used on the facade and also in the interior. Other buildings in Brussels in his rich, elegant style are Hotel Solvay (1895–1900), notable for the plastic treatment of its facade, and Hotel Winssingers (1895–96), as well as his own house on the rue Americaine (1898). His chiefwork is the Maison du Peuple, Brussels (1896–99), which was the first structure in Belgium to have a largely iron and glass facade. In its auditorium the iron roof beams are both structural and decorative.
After 1900 Horta simplified his style, using decoration more sparingly and eliminating exposed iron. In 1912 he became the director of the academy and designed the Palais des Beaux-Arts (1922–28) in a simple and severe classical style; his last major undertaking was the central railway station in Brussels, begun just before World War II.

Victor Horta
Hotel van Etvelde, Brussels

Victor Horta
Tassel House, Brussels

Victor Horta
Staircase of the Tassel House
Victor Horta
Tassel House, Brussels

The name of Louis Comfort Tiffany has become synonymous with Art Nouveau style in the US. The designer was inspired by the shapes and colours of French Art Nouveau, although the simple forms of his glassware items were more stylized and abstract than French glassproducts of the same period, which featured more natural, organic shapes. Tiffany's trademark design classic, the leaded-glass lamp, encapsulated his particular vision of modern style. First created in the 1880s, following the invention of the electric light bulb, it was produced by the company in coloured glass on a bronze stand. The shade was made of a lead framework filled with glass pieces in flower and animal shapes - a scaled-down adaptation of Tiffany's stained-glass windows. The designer's links with the symbolic heart of the Art Nouveau movement -Siegfried Bing's shop in Paris -were first forged as early as the 1870s, when Bing supplied him with Oriental objets. In 1895, Bing asked Tiffany to contribute ten stained-glass windows for the shop: Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, Paul Serusier, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, were among the artists to contribute designs.

Louis Comfort Tiffany
Window detail with a typical 
motif of peacock feathers.
Louis Comfort Tiffany

born Feb. 18, 1848, New York, N.Y., U.S. 
died Jan. 17, 1933, New York, N.Y. 

American painter, craftsman, philanthropist, decorator, and designer, internationally recognized as one of the greatest forces of the Art Nouveau style, who made significant contributions to the art of glassmaking.
The son of the famous jeweler Charles Lewis Tiffany, Louis studied under the American painters George Inness and Samuel Colman and also trained as a painter of narrative subjects in Paris. That he was also influenced by a visit to Morocco is evident in some of his major works. Returning to the United States, he became a recognized painter and an associate of the National Academy of Design, New York City; later he reacted against the Academy's conservatism by organizing, in 1877, with such artists as John La Farge and Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the Society of American Artists.
Tiffany's experiments with stained glass, begun in 1875, led to the establishment, three years later, of his own glassmaking factory at Corona in Queens, New York City. By the 1890s he was a leading glass producer, experimenting with unique means of colouring. He became internationally famous for the glass that he named “Favrile,” a neologism from the Latin faber (“craftsman”). Favrile glass, iridescent and freely shaped, was sometimes combined with bronzelikealloys and other metals; such examples, some signed “L.C. Tiffany” or “L.C.T.,” enjoyed widespread popularity from 1890 to 1915 and were revived again in the 1960s. His Favrile glass was admired abroad, especially in central Europe, where it created a new fashion.
Having established a decorating firm known as Tiffany Glassand Decorating Company, which served wealthy New Yorkers, Tiffany was commissioned by President Chester A. Arthur to redecorate the reception rooms at the White House, Washington, D.C., for which he created the great stained-glass screen in the entrance hall. He designed the chapel for the World's Columbian Exposition (1893) in Chicago and the high altar in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City.
Overwhelmed by the glass display of the brilliant French Art Nouveau designer Émile Gallé at the Paris Exhibition of 1889, Tiffany became interested in blown glass. From 1896 to 1900 he produced a vast amount of exquisite Favrile glass, many pieces achieving mysterious and impressionistic effects; his innovations made him a leader of the Art Nouveau movement.
Tiffany's firm was reorganized as Tiffany Studios in 1900, after which he ventured into lamps, jewelry, pottery, and bibelots. In 1911 he created one of his major achievements—a gargantuan glass curtain for the Palacio deBellas Artes, Mexico City. Like his father, Louis was a chevalier of the Legion of Honour; he also became an honorary member of the National Society of Fine Arts (Paris)and of the Imperial Society of Fine Arts (Tokyo). In 1919 he established the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation for Art Students at his luxurious and celebrated Long Island estate (which he had designed in total), which in 1946 was sold to provide scholarship funds.


Louis Comfort Tiffany

Louis Comfort Tiffany
Art Nouveau in France

In Paris, the floral exuberance of works by Belgian architect Victor Horta was interpreted in unique fashion by Hector Guimard (1867-1942). In his design of the entrances to the Metro stations in about 1900, he gave an urban dimension to the floral genre of decoration that had until then only been used for interiors. Using iron and enamelled steel, he sculpted signs, railings, and lampposts in organic forms, with lamps shaped like succulent orchids. Otto Wagner and Joseph Olbrich must have had such ideas in mind when they were commissioned to design the underground in Vienna. The abundance of floral and vegetal decoration is not as visually overwhelming in this case but is nonetheless characterized by a lightness and freshness.
The main concern of French Art Nouveau, however, was for the objet d'art, innovated at the Ecole de Nancy and created with great refinement and a skill that is hard to find elsewhere. The traditional glass production of this French town was dramatically changed by the designer Emile Galle (1846-1904), who utilized his knowledge of Oriental glasswork after taking over his father's glassworks in 1874. He also incorporated his interest in plants and insects in a unique style of decoration that made use of some original techniques. In his search for special effects of light and mistiness, Galle experimented with the addition of pieces of metal, enamel, and pigments in order to obtain changing and translucent backgrounds. He painted, carved, and created reliefs of dragonflies, spiders, flowers, and delicate landscapes on his soft-blue-coloured glass known as clair de lime and on cameo glass. These magical images were often accompanied by lines of poetry by his Symbolist friends, "solidifying the verses of Baudelaire and Verlaine", as van de Velde said. The success of his experiments encouraged other artisans to breathe new life into the art of glasswork, including the brothers August and Antonin Daum, who perfected opaque pate-de-verre for boxes, vases, and small figures, and Rene Lalique (1860-1945), who was the first to set up large-scale production of precious perfume bottles. Lalique is more famous for his jewellery. Using semiprecious stones, glass, enamel, mother-of-pearl, and even horn (not for its intrinsic value but for its colour), his beautiful jewels represented natural subjects such as dragonflies. scarabs, snakes, orchids, and mistletoe. His range of soft colours typified the Art Nouveau palette.

Rene Lalique

(b Ay, Marne, 6 April 1860; d Paris, 1945). 

French jeweller, glassmaker and designer. He began his studies at the Lycée Turgot near Vincennes and after his father’s death (1876) he was apprenticed to the Parisian jeweller Louis Aucoq, where he learnt to mount precious stones.

Unable to further his training in France, he went to London to study at Sydenham College, which specialized in the graphic arts. On his return to Paris in 1880, he found employment as a jewellerydesigner creating models for such firms as Cartier and Boucheron. His compositions began to acquire a reputation and in 1885 he took over the workshop of Jules d’Estape in the Rue du 4 Septembre, Paris. He rejected the current trend for diamonds in grand settings and instead used such gemstones as bloodstones, tourmalines, cornelians and chrysoberyls together with plique à jour enamelling and inexpensive metals for his creations.

His jewellery, which was in the Art Nouveau style, included hair-combs, collars, brooches, necklaces and buckles (e.g. water-nymph buckle, c. 1899–1901; Lisbon, Mus. Gulbenkian), and he also branched out into metalwork, producing gold boxes, inkwells and daggers.

His favourite motifs included flowers and insects—poppies and anemones, and dragonflies and scarabs. His international reputation was established at the Exposition Universelle in 1887 in Paris and by securing such patrons as the actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844–1933).

Rene Lalique
Broche, email, opalen, diamanten, 1900

Rene Lalique, gold necklace, 1900. 
Private Collection, Parma.
Hector Guimard

born March 10, 1867, Lyon, Fr. 
died May 20, 1942, New York, N.Y., U.S. 

architect, decorator, and furniture designer, probably the best-known French representative of Art Nouveau.
Guimard studied and later taught at the School of Decorative Arts and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (“School of Fine Arts”) in Paris. Although much of his work is more engineering than architecture, he considered himself an architecte d'art. His Castel Béranger apartment building at 16 rue La Fontaine, Passy, Paris (1894–98), was one of the first Art Nouveau edifices outside Belgium, where the style originated. Several entrance structures (1898–1901) for the Paris Métro (subway), of cast iron in plantlike forms, are his best-known works. The Place de la Bastille station suggests Chinese pagoda architecture as well as Art Nouveau. The elevations and decorative ironwork of his apartment houses at 17–21 and 60 rue La Fontaine (1911) are tasteful and restrained. More bizarre, perhaps because its setting permitted a freer treatment, is the Castel Henriette in Sèvres(1903). Guimard also designed an Art Nouveau synagogue, at 10 rue Pavée, Paris (1913).

Hector Guimard, Metro station of the Place de I'Etoile, Paris, 

Hector Guimard
Hector Guimard
Emile Galle

born May 8, 1846, Nancy, Fr. 
died Sept. 23, 1904, Nancy 

celebrated French designer and pioneer in technical innovations in glass. He was a leading initiator of the Art Nouveau style and of the modern renaissance of French art glass.
The son of a successful faience and furniture producer, Gallé studied philosophy, botany, and drawing, later learning glassmaking at Meisenthal, Fr. After the Franco-German War (1870–71), he went to work in his father's factory at Nancy. He first made clear glass, lightly tinted and decorated with enamel and engraving, but he soon developed the use of deeply coloured, almost opaque glasses in heavy masses, often layered in several thicknesses and carved or etched to form plant motifs. His glass was a great success at the Paris Exhibition of 1878, and he became known as a spirited designer working in contemporary revival styles.
Gallé's strikingly original work made a great impression when it was exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1889. Over the next decade his glass, reflecting the prevailing interest in Japanese art, became internationally known and imitated.It contributed largely to the free, asymmetric naturalism and symbolistic overtones of Art Nouveau. He employed wheel cutting, acid etching, casing (i.e., layers of various glass), and special effects such as metallic foils and air bubbles, calling his experiments marqueterie de verre (“marquetry of glass”). At Nancy he led the revival of craftsmanship and thesubsequent dissemination of crafted glass by way of mass production. At the height of its productivity, during the late 19th century, his workshop employed nearly 300 associates. He attracted numerous artisans, including the Art Nouveau glassmaker Eugène Rousseau. After Gallé's death his glass enterprise continued production until 1913.
With Gallé as its creative force, a form of naturalism, predominantly floristic, developed that was later identified with The School at Nancy, Provincial Alliance of Art Industries, established in 1901. His study of botany was the source for his natural designs, which represented leaves, ethereal flowers, vines, and fruits. His furniture designs, based on the Rococo period, continued the French tradition of emphasizing constructive points organically (e.g., corners of armoires finished in the shape of stalks or tree branches) and employing inlay and carving that were essentially floral in style. Perhaps his most characteristic concept was his meubles parlants (“talking furniture”), which incorporated in its decoration inlaid quotations from leading contemporary Symbolist authors such as Maurice Maeterlinck and Paul Verlaine. Both his glass and furniture were signed, sometimes most imaginatively. He collaborated with many colleagues, most notably the Art Nouveau furniture designer Louis Majorelle.
L. de Fourcaud's Émile Gallé (1903) preceded Gallé's own book Écrits pour l'art 1884–89 (“Writings on Art 1884–89”), which was posthumously published in 1908.


Emile Galle, mushroom lampstand, 
Musee de I'Ecole, Nancy.
Emile Galle, table, 1904
Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen

(b Lausanne, 10 Nov 1859; d Paris, 13 Dec 1923). 

French illustrator, printmaker, painter and sculptor, of Swiss birth. After studying at the University at Lausanne and working as an apprentice designer in a textile factory in Mulhouse, Steinlen arrived in Paris in 1881 and quickly established himself in Montmartre, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. In 1883 the illustrator Adolphe Willette introduced him to the avant-garde literary and artistic environment of the Chat Noir cabaret which had been founded in 1881 by another Swiss expatriot, Rodolphe Salis. Steinlen soon became an illustrator of its satirical and humorous journal, Chat noir, and an artistic collaborator with writers such as Emile Zola, poets such as Jean Richepin, composers such as Paul Delmet, artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec and, most important, the singer and songwriter Aristide Bruant, all of whom he encountered at the Chat Noir. Bruant’s lyrics incorporate the argot of the poor, the worker, the rogue, the pimp and the prostitute, for whom Steinlen’s empathy had been awakened on reading Zola’s novel L’Assommoir (1877). Steinlen became the principal illustrator for Bruant’s journal Le Mirliton (1885–96) and for the various books containing his songs and monologues, including the two volumes of Dans la rue (1888–95).

Chat Noir

Lait Pur
Motocycles Comiot

Le Petit Sou Socialist Magazine
Compagnie Francaise

Clinique Cheron

A Couple Waiting for a Bus

A Street Scene

A Street Scene with Flower Vendors
The Liberty Style

Just as the term "Art Nouveau" is linked to a store of the same name opened in Paris in 1895 by Siegfried Bing. the "Liberty" store in England came to be associated with its own particular style of art. Opened in London in 1875 by Arthur Lazenby Liberty, initially for the sale of Oriental fabrics, the shop's merchandise soon came to be characterized by a distinct style based on naturalistic patterns, exploring and developing the ideas of William Morris. In 1882, Arthur Mackmurdo (1851- 1943), Art Nouveau pioneer and designer of stylized, slender furniture, founded the co-operative organization, the Century Guild. Inspired by the ideas of Morris and John Ruskin, the group produced furniture, carpets, wallpaper, and metalwork, aiming to promote and establish decorative art in the same way as William Morris' own company had set out to do. Mackmurdo also turned his talents to graphic design and typography. At the time, there were numerous publications that adopted Art Nouveau graphics, exploiting the expressive power of the flat lines without shadows and the clear, contrasting areas of colour. In his title page for Wren 's City Churches, published in 1883. Mackmurdo presented an original mixture of typography and ornamentation, employing the same undulating motif of meandering lines growing one out of the other that had adorned the back of his famous chair of 1881. In 1884, he started his own periodical at the Century Guild, the highly original and influential Hobby Horse, which aimed to embrace all the arts, including literature and music.

Arthur Mackmurdo
Title page, 1883
Arthur Mackmurdo

(b London, 12 Dec 1851; d Wickham Bishops, Essex, 15 March 1942).
 English architect and social reformer. He was an important figure in the Arts and Crafts Movement. He trained as an architect first with T. Chatfield Clarke (1825–95) and then with the Gothic Revivalist James Brooks. He was greatly influenced by John Ruskin (they travelled to Italy together in 1874), particularly on social and economic issues. Mackmurdo believed that his work should be socially as well as artistically significant. In design he valued tradition but sought a contemporary relevance, and he promoted the unity of the arts, with architecture as the central discipline. By 1884 he had moved away from the Gothic Revival style and adopted an eclectic use of Renaissance sources. Some of his designs have been described as proto-Art Nouveau and are thought to have influenced the emergence of this style in architecture and the applied arts in Britain and Europe in the 1890s and 1900s. His pattern designs for wallpaper and textiles incorporated swirling organic motifs (e.g. Cromer Bird, cretonne, c. 1884), while for three-dimensional and architectural work he often used a simplified version of classicism derived from English 18th-century sources. Brooklyn, a small, flat-roofed house (c. 1886; Private Road, Enfield, London), was designed in an austere and simple rationalized classical style in which the logic of constructional methods was emphasized in a way that heralds the work of architects such as C. F. A. Voysey.

Arthur Mackmurdo, frontispiece for Wren's City Churches, 1883. 
Victoria and Albert Museum, London.