Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau was a popular style from the 1890s until World War I. Art Nouveau pieces are characterized by flowing, free form imagery based on organic forms. Thinking of themselves as artists more than jewelry-makers, Art Nouveau jewelers took extra care to craft exquisite, breathtaking jewelry.

The mood of Art Nouveau jewelry is soft, mystical, and romantic. Pale colors and flowing, undulating curves helped to establish a soothing aura. Victorian and Edwardian jewelers often borrowed ideas from ancient and classical art and architecture. Art Nouveau jewelers, greatly influenced by depictions of nature in Japanese art, looked to the natural world for inspiration. Orchids, irises, lilies, ferns, snakes, dragonflies, and butterflies were all prevalent motifs in Art Nouveau jewelry, as were depictions of the female form.

Many Art Nouveau pieces incorporated organic forms รก la Japonisme combined with the use of small stones studded over the whole rather than the more showy single gems of the Victorian period. Baroque or river pearls were much sought after for their irregular shape and opals were favored because of their milky bloom, so different from the ice-cold glint of diamonds.

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