Art Nouveau reached its peak just before the outbreak of the Great War (now more commonly known as World War 1), and surprisingly never recovered well after that, despite its obvious attractions.
There's no way to know just how many talented artists were wiped out by this terrible war and the epidemic of swine flu that immediately followed it. We know, for example, that a great many wonderful poets, literary geniuses and photographers were killed because of the excellent works they left behind in the trenches before heading off to their last battle.
The cost of war cannot be measured solely by how many deaths occur. Each life has the potential to create, teach, inspire, and build. Tragic as that history is, the beauty of Art Nouveau has always been treasured by collectors, and is now making a major comeback in the world of interior decoration.
Admirers of Art Nouveau have always been around since its inception, but after modern design concepts came into fashion, many designers felt there was no commercial market for the products, thinking them to be suitable only for the antique collecting crowd.
The revival of Art Nouveau into modern interior decoration has been a slow evolution taking place over a number of quite large steps. The main source of early interest was from artists. In fact it's not difficult to see the influence of Alphonse Mucha on the works of modern day comic book and anime artists.
From there, particularly from the work of sculptors, the jewellery industry began taking a strong interest, and most particularly sought to create items with some resemblance to the famous Tiffany & Co pieces that had achieved immense success. Not the least of these was Tiffany & Co itself.
Not far behind, furniture and lighting designers, mainly also inspired by Tiffany's other works. In the UK, the foremost designer to have embraced the style is our own Christopher Wray, now with a catalogue of over 1,000 designs, many of which would have looked right at home on the shop floor of the original Tiffany & Co.
The success of Christopher and other designers has showed that there is a viable commercial market for Art Nouveau in the contemporary age.
Advantages of Art Nouveau in contemporary interior design
Art Nouveau allows you to instantly impart a touch of class and dignity to any room. When it comes to lighting, Art Nouveau fills both a practical and a decorative need, so it's truly functional art.
The interesting thing about using Art Nouveau lighting designs (including wall lights, chandeliers, pendants, and lamps), is that it can fairly well complement almost any furnishing style. It will, however, work best if you can commit to a complete Art Nouveau decorative theme throughout the house.
You will see it is a very elegant and graceful look, with a comforting ambience. When it is implemented correctly, you'll find a great sense of satisfaction in the completed interior decoration.