I signed up for the Christies History of Jewelry Design course. The course is delivered via Canvas, an online learning platform and is facilitated by Vanessa Cron, an independent Jewelry Historian who delivers the course over 6 bite sized modules covering the History of Jewelry design from 1880 till today.
Over the course of 6 weeks, you go on a discovery journey uncovering some facts, stories and geopolitical context around the history of jewelry design from the Belle Epoque era all the way to the contemporary period.
This is the second blog in this series focusing on Art Nouveau or New Art Jewelry.
Art Nouveau – 1895-1910
In literal English translation meaning the New Art, a rebellious total art movement that contested the industrial disruption and called for an homage to the Arts and Crafts era where nature, design and well being were the essence of the design
Unlike the parallel Belle Epoque designs, Art Nouveuar Jewelry was an avocation of the jewelry artists and designers vs. show off of status and wealth.
Designs were often controversial and scandalous, often featuring female forms, creatures of fantasy and whimsical creations as reminders of mortality and connecting humanity back to nature.
Design aesthetic often included free flowing lines butterflies, movement, nude female figures made of materials chosen for their artistic element and color, not for their material value.
Aquamarines, Lapis, Agate, Opal, horn and ivory were common gemstones and elements in Art Nouveau designs.
Enameling in particular the – A jour technique- mimicked the stained glass technique resulting in translucent jewels
Georges Fouquet, Alphonso Mucha and Mellerio were a few of the well recognized names of artist designers contributing to the Art Nouveau legacy.
Similar to the Belle Epoque period, this beautiful and artsy period came to en end with world war 1, paving the way to a jewels of the roaring 1920’s and the Art Deco era.