Art Nouveau

1889: the crowd that rushes to the great universal exhibition of Paris discovers, amazed, the Eiffel Tower. But in front of the iron lady, it is a certain Emile Gallé, already rewarded in 1878, who won the grand prize for a window of walnut walnut with reminiscences rocaille. This pioneer who only swears by nature and intimate to his collaborators to draw a flower only by having a flower under his eyes, has inscribed on the frontispiece of his Nancy workshop: "My root is at the bottom of the woods. Flora was the great inspiration for this movement, of which Emile Gallé drew the first steps: Art Nouveau. Crowned with success in 1900, the Art Nouveau gives in the plant that deploys through a privileged material, the wood. Massive or inlaid, walnut and oak are chosen to express a whole new ornamental repertoire.


Nicknamed by his detractors "style noodle", Art Nouveau deploys in calligraphy complex a naturalistic vocabulary with refined bouquet. Orchids, irises, lilies or poppies make up this prolific garden with many ramifications offered by climbing plants such as glycine, ivy or bindweed. The lines stretch. The corners are curved. The feet unfold as a whip. Mimicking the creepers, the women also lie down, with thin hips and long hair untied.


The cabinetmaker Louis Majorelle, established as his master Gallé in Nancy, is one of the major figures of this movement. Synthesis of new forms and classical cabinetry, the interlacing of its furniture is extended from 1900 in handles and hinges forged by its workshop. The maverick Hervé Guimard remains famous for his cast-iron surroundings of the Parisian metro and the Castel-Béranger building on rue Jean de la Fontaine in the 16th arrondissement. It is also impossible to cite the German Samuel Bing, who, after having contributed to the rise of Japonism in Paris, inaugurated the Galerie de l'Art Nouveau in 1895, rue de Provence. The vegetable decoration signed Georges de Feure, lighting with electricity will inspire its Art Nouveau pavilion for the universal exhibition of 1900. The Art Nouveau will survive only a few years to the disappearance of Bing in 1905, jostled since 1910 by the Birth of Art Deco