Art nouveau

Art nouveau architecture has been a particular fascination. It is not easy to put clear boundaries around art nouveau, but it is significant that it was the architecture of the turn of the 20th century and so represented an attempt to find a new architecture for the new century which rejected historicism. In some countries,  e.g. Slovenia and Latvia, there was an additional drive towards developing a new national style. And certainly the expression of art nouveau was different in the countries of Europe that embraced it.

The buildings  have some of these typical characteristics: curving lines suggestive of plants, external decoration painted or in ceramic tiles often depicting floral or animal themes, decorative wrought iron work, asymmetrical shapes. Several art nouveau architects, e.g. Otto Wagner in Vienna and Victor Horta in Brussels, liked to design all elements of their buildings, down to detailed interior fixtures and fittings. There is a wonderful German word for what they wanted to create: Gesamptkunstwerke Рa total art work.

Some of my photos of art nouveau buildings in major cities, and also in England, are on Flickr:

Here are some examples: