by Lynn Byrne
By Lynn Byrne. Art Nouveau is often considered the first “modern” style.
To get a sense of its hallmarks, one need only look at the Paris metro entrances designed by Hector Guimard, shown above. Here you see the famed whiplash curve, called the “line of beauty” by painter William Hogarth. You also get a feel for its organic and exhuberant nature. Here is a detail shot.
The style began about 1890 and lasted until about 1910. It was named after Paris boutique La Maison de l’Art Nouveau, established by Siegrfried Bing in 1895. The entrance, with its very organic decoration, is shown below.