New Trends in the 19th & 20th Centuries


Art Styles in 19th century - Art Map


The Modern Style

Art Nouveau



Louis Comfort Tiffany

Rene Lalique

Hector Guimard

Emile Galle

Theophile-Alexandre Steinlen




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


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 glass products 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

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


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

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
Broche, email, opalen, diamanten, 1900


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 jewellery designer 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).



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,

This structure has since been demolished.



Hector Guimard

Hector Guimard


Emile Galle, mushroom lampstand,
Musee de I'Ecole, Nancy.

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, table, 1904




Chat Noir

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).




Lait Pur

Motocycles Comiot



Le Petit Sou Socialist Magazine

Compagnie Francaise




Song of the Tundra



Clinique Cheron



Exposition des Artistes Animaliers

A la Bodiniere



Le Reve




Poster Advertising Mothu and DoriaIn Impressionist Scenes



A Couple Waiting for a Bus

A Street Scene

A Street Scene with Flower Vendors




Arthur Mackmurdo
Title page, 1883

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

(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.



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