What Is Art Nouveau?
Belgian designer and architect Henry van de Velde is best known as one of the founders of art nouveau, a style that peaked in fin de siècle Europe and embodied the transition from handcrafted decorative arts to industrially produced modern design. Van de Velde’s furniture features gently curving lines and ornament expressed through structure, lending each piece an organic quality that was central to art nouveau. The sinuous lines and whiplash curves typically associated with the style are in full force in an advertisement van de Velde designed in 1897 for Tropon, a protein extract. Among the tapering, frenetic lines that melt and stretch across the poster, egg yolks are distinguishable, the only nod to the nature of the product being sold.
Belgian, 1863-1957, Antwerp, Belgium, based in Weimar, Germany; Ghent, Belgium; Zürich, Switzerland