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
inspiration for the movement
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.
The Seasons series from 1896 was Mucha's first set of decorative panels and it became one of his most popular series. It was so popular that Mucha was asked by Champenois to produce at least two more sets based on the same theme in 1897 and 1900.
The idea of personifying the seasons was nothing new - examples could be found in the works of the Old Masters' However, Mucha's nymph-like women set against the seasonal views of the countryside breathed new life into the classic theme.
In the four panels shown here, Mucha captures the moods of the seasons - innocent Spring, sultry Summer, fruitful Autumn and frosty Winter, and together they represent the harmonious cycle of Nature. (http://museu.ms/article/details/108761/daily-art-story-muchas-seasons)