Art Nouveau was not originally an artistic style but the name of a shop in Paris. Interesting, no? The name of that shop, which opened in 1895, was Maison de l’Art Nouveau. This term was only applied to a specific art form or style developed in the years between 1900 and 1914.
Art Nouveau actually means ‘new art’ in French, and was a reactionary style in the arts and architecture and was generally influenced by the Japanese style. Art Nouveau is characterized by different elements, colors and shapes found in nature, such as plants, flowers, leaves and vines, that are turned into different shaped objects.
This art form was applied to everyday objects like furniture, wallpaper, carpets and rugs. It has persisted as an artistic style and has experienced periodic revivals and interpretations from its inception to this day.
Art Nouveau designs frequently feature curved and flowing lines, as you will see in rugs and carpets of this style. The lines are used to create a series of patterns and forms that are symmetrical and harmonious. These lines can be simple or intricate. Curves are often contrasted with sharp lines. These curves can be robust, delicate, or sinuous in character, but they don’t just form patterns; they also portray different elements found in nature.
Art Nouveau style rugs and carpets usually feature grasses, flowers and vines. However, in these cases, they are most often represented in their literal form, although sometimes stylized as well. It is also common to see different types of birds, including the exotic ones and, sometimes, small butterflies or insects are included in the artwork as well.