Art Nouveau Sculpture
Collectible Art Nouveau Sculpture, Figurines and Vases
Collecting fine art isn't just for the wealthy anymore. These days, new techniques and materials make fine art more affordable than ever, even handmade pieces that recreate the Old World styles of the past.
Art Nouveau is one of those antique styles, developed more than a century ago and still popular today, where you'll find the look blended seamlessly with modern design.
The innovative Art Nouveau sculptors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were considered rebels, who aimed to put an end to the past hierarchy of the decorative arts, which viewed sculpture and painting as superior to craft-based art.
In stark contrast to the opulence of the Victorian era, these "new art" sculptors used simple, flowing lines and light, reflective colors to interpret scenes inspired by the natural world. And their designs have inspired many new Art Nouveau-style sculptures on the market today.
Art Nouveau sculptures are made from a variety of materials, such as bronze and other metals, wood, clay, ceramics and resin. They also sometimes incorporate sparkling, shimmery or opalescent features, like mica, glass, or mother of pearl.
They can be solely decorative accents or the sculpture can be integrated with a functional purpose. Stand-alone pieces as well as those that are useful as well as beautiful are all works of art. Statuary, vases, cachepots, candelabras, clocks and other items also make thoughtful and appreciated gifts.
You too can add Art Nouveau elegance and stately beauty to your own home with sculptures like those you'll see here.
An Art Movement
Alphonse Marie Mucha was the Czech artist who created the 1895 lithographed art poster that is credited with popularizing the Art Nouveau movement.
This poster, an ad for the French play "Gismonda" starring Sarah Bernhardt, was an overnight success. Artists and artisans throughout Europe and in other parts of the world started emulating Mucha's "Art Nouveau" style, which was most popular from the late 1800s until 1920.
There is a resurgence of interest in the Art Nouveau style today and, although originals command very high prices, there are a lot of reproductions and new original pieces that have been inspired by the flowing natural forms that are characteristic of Art Nouveau.
Alphonse Mucha Sculpture Reproductions
The statues above are from a series of sculptures inspired by the work of this influential artist, featuring beautiful, strong young women, often draped in flowing robes and dresses in the Art Nouveau style that is the hallmark of Mucha's paintings and posters.
The Peacock in Art Nouveau Sculpture & Design
The peacock is a favorite motif in art nouveau design but it has been a symbol of beauty, wealth, rebirth on one hand and, on the other, a symbol of pride and sometimes death since ancient times.
In Babylonian and Persian cultures, the peacock represented a guardian of loyalty (perhaps because of its many eyes). In India, peacocks symbolized royalty. Hindu cultures associate the peacock with Lakshimi and characteristics of patience and compassion and a harbinger of good luck. In Asia, Quan Yin is often depicted with a peacock, representing love, goodness, nurturing, and protection.
Peacock imagery also appears throughout Western culture. In ancient times, the peacock was associated with the Greek goddess Hera and her Roman counterpart, Juno. Peacocks appear in paintings on the walls of early Christian tombs and were a favorite motif in the Ottoman Empire.
Exquisitely sculpted, cast in high quality designer resin, and skillfully hand-painted feather by feather, this rich and stylish piece is a work of art alone or you can embellish it with a beautiful bouquet. An impressive 19.5 inches high.
However, it was not until the late Victorian era, near the end of the 1800s, that peacock imagery became particularly popular. “Across the pond” from Mainland Europe, William Morris used the image in his 1878 fabric design, Peacocks and Dragons, in addition to other artwork. (Morris’s written and visual work both were highly influenced by the Middle Ages, a time when the peacock was a symbol of Christ’s resurrection from the dead.)
Art Nouveau Peacock Sculpture Bronze Bouquet Flower Vase
This Art Nouveau design vase pays homage to the style of Margaret MacDonald and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The special production process of this piece originated in Great Britain. The 13 3/8” tall piece is cast using actual bronze powder in the cold cast resin, resulting in a richer product. Each piece is hand-painted and antiqued with a very substantial feel to it.
At the same time, the Aesthetic Movement was begun by a group of English artists and designers who were heavily influenced by the Japanese, Chinese, and Islamic traditions in art and cultures that long revered the peacock.
But it was the Art Nouveau movement and, not inconsequentially, the industrialization of means of production, that the peacock meme became such a ubiquitous favorite.
Whistler’s Peacock Room was perhaps the most lavish example, but the peacock was also a favorite motif in the work of the artist Walter Crane, the glass vases and lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany, and the artwork of Aubrey Beardsley, who used it in his 1894 illustrations of Oscar Wilde’s play, Salomé.
These artists used the flauntingly almost haughtily and hauntingly beautiful bird as the ultimate inspiration for and symbol of the marriage of nature and design – a marriage that is seemingly ageless.
Art Nouveau Sculptural Clock
Pewter finished 11.5 inch tall Art Nouveau clock for dresser or mantel.Highlighted with hand colored roses. Battery powered.
Sculptured Art Nouveau Mirrors
The mirrors above are just a few of the beautifully sculpted Art Nouveau style mirrors available today. The mirror depicting two women with roses is 10.5 by 16 inches. It is cold cast resin with a bronze powder finish with hand painted accents.The 13 inch Butterfly and Calla Lily framed mirror can be used standing or hanging. The Mucha inspired Art Nouveau Orchid Mirror is also 13inches high. The Design Toscano Parisian Salon Mirror is 7 inches wide and 18.5 inches tall and finished in faux ivory and gold leaf.
For Art Nouveau Sculpture on a Smaller Scale
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© 2012 Chazz