Art Nuevo... What is it?
Art Nouveau was an innovative international style of modern art that became fashionable from about 1890 to the First World War. Arising as a reaction to 19th-century designs of historicism in general and neoclassicism, it promulgated the idea of art and design as part of everyday life. Henceforth artists should not overlook any everyday object, no matter how functional it might be. This aesthetic was considered to be quite revolutionary and new, hence its name - New Art - or Art Nouveau. Hence also the fact that it was applied to a host of different forms including architecture, fine art, applied art, and decorative art. Rooted partly in the Industrial Revolution, and the Arts and Crafts Movement, but also influenced by Japonism (especially Ukiyo-e prints) Celtic designs, and botamnical illustrations.
The characteristics of Art Neuvo
Art Nouveau is characterized by its a few different things
1) the use of a long, sinuous, organic line integrated often mimicing flower stalks and buds, vine tendrils, insect wings, and other delicate and sinuous natural objects
3) muted or soft coloring
4) inncorberation of graphic elements such are boarders or type
Alphonse Mucha was born in 1860 in the Czech Republic. Although his singing abilities earned him several scholarships that allowed him to continue his education through high school in Brno, drawing had been his main hobby since childhood. He began working as a commercial artist in his late teens, painting mostly portraits and theatrical scenery.
Mucha moved to Paris in 1887, where he volunteered at a lithography shop. In 1895 the impoverished young Czech became an overnight sensation in Paris by creating a poster for Gismonda, a play starring Sarah Bernhardt, the most famous actress of the period. Bernhardt loved Mucha’s work so much that she commissioned a six year contract with him. Before long, “le style Mucha” – later known as the Art Nouveau movement – was the term used to describe the new spirit transforming the city.
Alphonse Mucha is a name that is synonymous with Art Nouveau, a sumptuous design movement from the turn of the 19th century that emphasized a return to nature in the wake of the Industrial Revolution. More than just a follower of this elaborate style, though, Mucha needs to be viewed as a pioneer in the history of advertising, having mastered—and in many cases introduced—concepts and techniques still used today. He produced a huge number of influential artworks in the realm of commercial illustration. His decorative, curvilinear designs featured on not only posters but on a range of other products, earning him enormous success at the centre of the art world in Paris.
Mucha's posters are revered for their incredible detail compared to those of his contemporaries. Like Jules Chéret and Leonetto Cappiello, Mucha came to poster design with an illustration background. Those artists typically celebrated the best parts of that craft in their designs, resulting in loose, caricature-inspired drawings that were more about whimsy and expression than realism.
Creating a Brand
The power of the Art Nouveau posters of this period lay in their ability to communicate: the images were arresting, often using stark contrasts and flat blocks of colour (again drawing influence from Japanese prints), and when advertising products they were economical with the amount of text so that the image could speak mostly for itself. The posters were designed to sell products by depicting the sort of idealized lifestyle that was offered by the use or ownership of such things. The style and atmosphere of the posters was everything; the product itself had very little to do with it. This allowed an identifiable aura to develop around a great range of products, linked by the same associated style to the extent that consumers were buying into a lifestyle as opposed to buying any one isolated product. In this way, the modern lifestyle fed the adverts, which in turn fed the lifestyle.
Transferring the image and style of the advertising posters to the product itself kept up this communication of ideals – the same image would be recreated on the product’s packaging, strengthening the association between product and advert, as in the case of Mucha’s images gracing Lefèvre-Utile biscuit tins. Mucha was also famously commissioned to create posters for JOB cigarette rolling papers, with the result that the JOB brand became immediately identifiable through its advertising and packaging. As well, his use of natural motifs, Mucha’s sensuous female figures were well-recognized, and their appearance on a product or poster became not only an instant indicator of the product’s quality, but also the sort of lifestyle associated with it, and the other kinds of products associated with that ideal. The women in his designs were an intoxicating mix of the goddess, virgin and temptress, stylized females with ‘macaroni’-like long hair and dressed in neo-classical attire. Their relevance to the product was only in terms of the associated glamour, so that the same style of designs was able to sell diverse consumer products like perfume, chocolate drinks, and train travel alike.
Assignment: broken into Three Grades
Choose a product you want to advertise in the style of Mucha and Art nouveau
create a boarder on illustrator
- must have ornate lines
- must contain the name or product in the border
create an original composition where you have collages your portrait , your product, and a lifestyle
Art nouveau is classy. Consider portraying it in a feminine way.
- a person ie portrait
- a glamorous lifestyle
- a product ( your choice)
- natural elements
render your image through digital painting and combine your boarder to your rendering
- fully colored
- have forms with highlights and shadows
- border incorporated