The Art Nouveau movement also called Jugenstil or ‘youth style’ in German was a art movement beginning sometime in 1890, and then going on to the beginning of the I World War. It was a rebellious reaction to Victorian sensibilities by a new wave of architects and designers, who used futuristic elements and artwork to express them.
I have always been fascinated by the motifs of the Art Nouveau Movement- stylised flowers, roots and leaves and curvy, sinuous forms. I have seen peacocks and lions, women with flowing hair and flowing florals adorning buildings in European cities like Helsinki, Ljubljana, Budapest and Riga. Art Nouveau was not confined to the facades of the buildings alone. It spread to posters, furniture and permeated to the interiors, the bathrooms and even the kitchens of apartments!
If you want to see the best collection of Art Nouveau buildings head to Riga, the capital of Latvia. It even has a Art Nouveau Museum with guides in period costumes. In most European cities, many of the Art Nouveau buildings were pulled down when it went out of fashion, but today many of the remaining ones have been renovated to their past glory.