What Is Art Nouveau?

What is Art Nouveau? In the early twentieth century, after the First World War, an artist named Emile Zola created what was to become what is known as the ‘Zola Phenomenon’. It is generally agreed that he created this artwork in response to the gap between modern and traditionalist art. Zola’s work comprises buildings such as the Louvre and the Hotel Savoy. His most famous painting is ‘The Bridge of Trysts’, a spectacular representation of the town of Voitureme, where there are cafes and restaurants.

What Is Art Nouveau - Flowers Of Water by Élisabeth Sonrel
Flowers Of Water by Élisabeth Sonrel

It is believed that in discussing what is art, we are not talking simply about beauty in general. We are talking about how different art can express an idea, how different forms of art can serve as a political form of communication and how art can tell us what is happening in a particular period of time or in a particular city at a particular time. It also often refers to a style of painting which predates the modernist art movement.

There has been much speculation that Emile Zola was a Neo-Nazi. This has been denied by him and others who claim him as a follower of Hitler, whom he firmly detested. However, his paintings certainly do portray a very anti-modernist, anti-intellectual stance, which some people find disagreeable. Regardless of what your views are, it must be said that his works remain highly respected in the modern world. There are those who still hold reservations about what is art and what is not art, but his place in the history of art and the role he played in bringing about the concept of nouveau modernism makes him an important part of the history of art in the twentieth century.

Today, what is art nouveau has become a very loaded question. People of all ages and backgrounds have their own ideas about what is art and what is not. When one considers the fact that there have been many different schools of art nouveau that have come and gone, it would appear that the subject is extremely wide in scope.

Many people believe that what is art nouveau is an evolution of the ancient culture of the past and what is called Classical Art, which in itself came from the Roman Empire. Others believe that what is art nouveau is simply a reaction against the overly ornate or over-complicated Art. Still others believe that the term art nouveau simply means that the artists involved are artists who are new and trying to break free of the conventions of established art styles. In truth, what is art nouveau can vary depending on who you ask. Each artist will have their own individual take on what is art nouveau.

One thing is for certain, though, and that is the fact that there are many people out there who feel that what is art nouveau is far from it. For these individuals, what is art nouveau is simply excess. Things that would be called trash art or crud art by some other artists may be the greatest piece of art nouveau that anyone could ever hope for. This is not to say that what is art nouveau by one person cannot be defined as such by another, but as previously stated, opinions differ. What is art nouveau for one person may be trash art by another. The point is that there is no hard and fast definition on what is art nouveau.

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