Art Nouveau is very en vogue in Rotterdam too, I know some artists that make it 😉
Being confused all the time about whether a building actually is Art Nouveau or not, made me decide to get my facts straight and learn to recognise the characteristics of the style.
In order to understand the situation in which Art Nouveau emerged, we’re going back in time to find the Industrial Revolution taking place in the 1850s. People felt rich and wanted to have things that before only really rich people could afford. Thanks to mechanisation (cheap mass production) imitations of luxury products and ‘art’ were made affordable to everyone. Previous styles were copied and quality was no longer important. Anyone could now live in style!
As could be expected, the traditional craftsmen did not appreciate this new direction at all! They insisted on hand made, quality products. In the UK, these craftsmen formed the ‘Arts and Crafts Movement’, led by John Ruskin and later by William Morris. Their objective was to create beautiful yet sustainable products for the ordinary man. ‘Arts and Crafts’ is therefore not a style, but…
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