Art Nouveau in France, Episode 97

Category: Arts & Architecture

This episode features our frequent and very popular guest Elyse Rivin. If you enjoy her episodes, please consider supporting her on Patreon.

Today Elyse explains the Art Nouveau movement in France. She concentrates  in particular on Hector Guimard and the specifics of how this art movement manifested itself in France.

This design style is very ornate with curvy lines and intricate decorative elements. The artists rejected the whole idea of mass production brought about by the industrial revolution. As a result their art did not spread far and wide as did successor Art Deco.

And, by the way, what is the difference between difference between Art Nouveau and Art Deco? Elyse explains!

Art Nouveau in France

Art Nouveau happened in many countries, but under different names and with different stylistic choices. In England for instance it was called "The Modern Style". This movement began in Scotland but soon took off in many countries. It only lasted officially for 20 years, from 1890 until 1910. In France, Belgium and Catalonia the movement gave shape to the idea that nature needed to be represented in all its organic forms, with curvy lines and pleasant shapes.

Don't Miss in Paris

If you enjoy Art Nouveau, there are two places you should not skip in Paris:

29 avenue Rapp in the 7th arrondissement, see photo below. This is a building called "immeuble Lavirotte". The photo doesn't do it justice, so when you go pay attention to all the curves and the small details. It is exquisite!

The Orsay Museum has an impressive collection of furniture and objects that highlight the time period extremely well. Look for the "Arts décoratifs" area. It is not nearly as crowded as the post-impressionist paintings section, but it is extensive and lovely.

Episode Highlights

  • Art Nouveau in France
  • Daum, Gallé and Lalique in the city of Nancy
  • The Difference Between Art Nouveau and Art Déco
  • Where to See the Art in Paris
  • French Tip of the Week [1:05]

French Tip of the Week [1:05]

I have two travel French phrases for you this week is:

  1. "Il ne faut pas en faire tout un fromage !" =  Don't make a big deal out of this!
  2. "C'est bête comme chou. " = It's really easy.

Listen and repeat and use it well when you're in France!

Learn More: French Culture



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Discussed in this Episode

  • Art Deco
  • Art Nouveau
  • Art Nouveau in Nancy
  • Art Nouveau in Paris
  • Nancy
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facade of an art deco building on 29 avenue Rapp, Paris 75007
Read more about this episode
Show Notes 

Category: Arts & Architecture

4 Replies to “Art Nouveau in France, Episode 97”

  1. Hi Annie & Elyse
    I loved your episode on Art Nouveau! When I was in Paris last August, I caught the train to Nancy for the day. I visited Ecole de Nancy which was just fabulous, I’ve never seen such a fantastic display of art nouveau furniture, fittings and objects. The quality of the art nouveau features there was incredible. After the Ecole I went to Place Stanislas and walked around Nancy, amazed by the architecture, and then visited the Museum of Fine Arts which had a huge collection of glass objects such as the ones you spoke about. Even the Parc de la Pepiniere has a beautiful art nouveau rotunda. The only place I missed out on visiting was the Villa Majorelle which I think is only open on weekends. I would highly recommend a day trip to Nancy from Paris on the TGV as it only took about an hour and 40 minutes.
    Kind Regards
    Kim Henry

  2. I loved art nouveau episode! Just listened for the second time and I am sure it wasn’t the last one. What a great content. Love your work! Best wishes.

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