Oh, Hey There Autumn! Let Me Greet You with a Beautiful Cliché!

Autumn by Alfons Mucha, 1896

Autumn by Alfons Mucha, 1896

A Year in Books/Day 103: Art Nouveau

  • Title: Art Nouveau A Fascinating Guide to One of the Most Notable Periods of Decorative Art
  • Year Published: 2002 (A Quantum Book/Published in the United States by TODTRI Book Publishers)
  • Year Purchased: 2004
  • Source: Barnes & Noble clearance rack
  • About: The average level of craftsmanship involved in Art Nouveau creations-from jewelry to illustration, textiles to furniture-is exquisite. This mini coffee table book is one part history, one part design eye candy and one hundred percent stunning. I know that I am tossing out superlatives like they are going out of business but we’re discussing Art Nouveau here. Nothing less than poetic turns of phrase will do! No matter how many times I see the still modern looking periodical illustrations or the sensuous, undulating lines of a Rene Lalique brooch or Georges Fouquet hair comb, I’m gobsmacked. Don’t even get me started on the architecture, where the tiniest detail is impeccable. It’s all covered here.
  • Motivation: It’s Art Nouveau, hello!
  • Times Read: 1
  • Random Excerpt/Page 14: “Nature was to be the ultimate source book of the Art Nouveau artist, particularly the plant world, for many artists had a scientist’s depth of knowledge of botany. Flowers, stems, and leaves were chosen for their curving silhouettes. Naturally, lilies, irises, and orchids were favored, although any and every form, from palm fronds to seaweed, offered potential for development into an animated pattern.”
  • Happiness Scale: 7 1/2

    La Plume, 15 January 1898. Cover composition by Mucha.

    La Plume, 15 January 1898. Cover composition by Mucha.