Art of Century is a collection of thirty titles which glide through the most significant cultural movements from antiquity to the 21st century. Through its first fives titles, Naive Art, Renaissance Art, Russian Avant-Garde, Symbolism and Art Nouveau, this series offers a new didactic approach to the main currents and major artists who moulded our comprehension of 21st-century aesthetics.
The Art Nouveau movement is distinguished as the decorative and architectural style that began in response to the Industrial Revolution. The primary objective of this movement was the creation of a new aesthetic of nature through a return to the study of natural subjects. Designs from this movement are often characterised by plant or floral inspired patterns, and highly stylised, detailed depictions countering the broad swooping curvatures of a piece in the Art Nouveau style.
In order to achieve this, such artists as Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Antoni Gaudí, Jan Toorop, and William Morris favoured innovation in technique and novelty of forms. Art Nouveau attempts to integrate art into all facets of life including materials from furniture, to decorative items in a home, to architecture, building on the movement’s philosophy of incorporating art into everyday life. After its triumph at the Paris Universal Exposition in 1900, the trend continued and has inspired many artists since, as well as the Art Déco movement, the successor of Art Nouveau which appeared after World War I. It is fair to say Art Nouveau was at the heart of a 'renaissance' in decorative arts.
Henri Cazalis (Jean Lahor) was a French doctor born in Cormeilles-en-Paris is in 1840. Cazalis was a Symbolist poet and published under the pseudonyms Jean Caselli and Jean Lahor for many of his collections of poems and letters, including The Illusion.
Along with Sully Prudhomme (awarded the first Nobel Prize for Literature), Cazalis founded The Society for the Protection of Landscapes and Aesthetics in France which aims to protect the landscapes and heritage of the land to ensure a better quality of life in France. The society is still active today. Cazalis also corresponded with French poet and art critic, Stéphane Mallarmé.
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