A.k.a. "That beautiful detailed flowery art style".
Art Nouveau is an art movement that was most popular between 1890 and 1910. It originated in England and France, where it spread over the last two decades of the 19th century. The origins in each respective country vary though. For example, the German "Jugendstil" was first used 1897 as criticism against cheap mass production of works from artists like Henry van de Velde. Art Nouveau was by far no consistent art movement; there were several geographical differences, although some basic characteristics stayed the same. Those key features are decorative curves and flowery elements.
All in all "Art Nouveau" constisted of divergent art movements in Europe.
Art Nouveau: France, French for 'New Art',
Jugendstil: Germany, German for 'Young Style', stems from the illustrated magazine "Jugend"
Modernisme: Catalonia (Spain), Catalan for 'Modernism'
Модерн: Russia, 'Modern'
Secession: Austria-Hungary, after 'Wiener Secession'
Stile Floreale/Liberty: Italy, Italian for 'Flowery'; 'Liberty' from a store called 'Liberty'
So, how can you recognize Art Nouveau?
As I briefly mentioned above, the style's most noticable features are flowery ornaments and decorative curves. Many decorative elements are based on nature, like grass, twings, tendrils, or most popularily, the ever-present flower.
In paintings, shading and spatial depth are not important; outlines of the main figures are emphasised instead. Apart from that, symmetry is often neglected, especially in architecture.
Alfons Maria Mucha (1860-1939): Visual artist
In English and French better known as
Alphonse Mucha, this artist is maybe the most famous representative of the Art Nouveau style. He was painter, illustrator, graphic designer and poster artist at once.
"F. Champenois Imprimeur-Editeur"
Gustav Klimt (1862-1918): Painter
Klimt was one of the most important representatives of the Secession. One of his best known paintings is "Der Kuss" (The Kiss), which was painted from 1907 to 1908.
Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926): Architect
A famous spanish architect, who is famous for his many Modernisme buildings in Barcelona, like the Sagrada Família, Casa Milá or Par Güell. Construction of the Sagrada Famíla, a church of enourmous dimensions, was started in 1882 and is still not finished today.
detail of "Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família" (Barcelona)
Thanks for reading!