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Art nouveau

a style of fine and applied art current in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, characterized chiefly by curvilinear motifs often derived from natural forms.
Contemporary Examples

They turned slowly and gave the art nouveau building a suddenly contemporary appeal.
Louis Vuitton, Chanel, McQueen Cap Paris Spring 2013 Fashion Week Shows Robin Givhan October 2, 2012

The façade bore all the trendy trappings of the art nouveau movement that swept across the European continent.
Secret KGB Torture House Opens Its Doors in Riga Brandon Presser June 3, 2014

These have the pared-down, Pre-Modernist look of art nouveau.
The Magazine That Made—and Unmade—Politicians Anthony Haden-Guest November 1, 2014

Historical Examples

Full-color reproduction of Combinaisons ornementales (c. 1900) by art nouveau masters.
Life Histories of North American Shore Birds, Part 1 (of 2) Arthur Cleveland Bent

The “art nouveau” of that day influenced every brush and pencil.
The Tapestry Book Helen Churchill Candee

It is as though your old family portrait of the Colonial Governor was framed in “art nouveau.”
The Tapestry Book Helen Churchill Candee

The consequence was, the stone lost in value as a Rubens’ canvas would, if placed in an art nouveau frame.
Woman as Decoration Emily Burbank

In many instances is seen the newest of the “art nouveau”—as it is popularly known—cheek by jowl with some mediæval shrine.
Dumas’ Paris Francis Miltoun

Stunned, Margaret did not move from the best parlour, over which the touch of art nouveau had fallen.
Howards End E. M. Forster

It belongs to a wealthy Mexican who was seduced, however, by art nouveau.
Diplomatic Days Edith O’Shaughnessy


a style of art and architecture of the 1890s, characterized by swelling sinuous outlines and stylized natural forms, such as flowers and leaves
(as modifier): an Art-Nouveau mirror

first recorded 1901, French, literally “new art” (see novel (adj.)). Called in German Jugendstil.


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