The Art Nouveau style captures the beauty of nature
Mostly, Art Nouveau is an attempt to copy nature, which leads to lively and floral ornaments. Within Art Nouveau, artists developed several ornaments and new stylistic forms. Some of those were floral elements such as water lilies, different patterns of lines and the depiction of a woman with long, flowing hair as an ideal of beauty and harmony. When it comes to the depiction of animals in Art Nouveau, fish, peacocks, swans, bugs and dragonflies were the most popular. The pleasant and aesthetic designs are reflected in this epoch's many pieces of furniture, jewellery, furnishings and paintings as well as in the construction of whole residential buildings.
A rapid progress as the social background of Art Nouveau
Curved forms, waves, plants, vines and symbolic motifs were juxtaposed with a rapid industrialisation during the height of Art Nouveau. Traditional handicraft was increasingly losing its significance and its high rank when it was confronted with inexpensive methods of mass production. Consequently, the trade had to give way for modern industry. However, there were also some counter movements against this effect from the beginning on. In England, where the industrial revolution was especially successful, this led to the foundation of a strong counter movement. The English Arts and Crafts movement is viewed as one of the predecessors of Art Nouveau.
Art Nouveau in the field of sculpture
At our bronze shop, you can purchase authentic Art Nouveau statues and sculptures. If you intend to buy Art Nouveau statues, you should keep in mind that this art form only rarely produced large sculptures and statues. Therefore, mostly small-scale works were created from bronze. At our shop, you can purchase those Art Nouveau sculptures and embellish your home with them, as Art Nouveau statues were always meant to be decorative and beautiful. During their creation, a lot of focus is put on the material and the object's surface. Therefore, back then as well as today, only the most impeccable materials like bronze are used and a final polishing of the surface is a given, as Art Nouveau statues are supposed to gleam and be as untainted as nature.
Motifs of Art Nouveau sculptures
When you are looking for Art Nouveau bronze statues for sale at our bronze shop, you will come across a wide assortment of primarily human figures who were captured in a fluid movement, for example the figurine of a woman dressed in flowing garments or with long, waving hair. From its beginning, idealised women figures were one of the most popular motifs of the Art Nouveau genre. That is also the case in sculpture, where this motif was used quite often. Small Art Nouveau nudes made of bronze were common features of the decoration of Art Nouveau houses. They were often accompanied by plant motifs, resulting in Art Nouveau nudes that entwined with vines or surrounded by plants. Art Nouveau statuary, and that of Art Deco which arose from it, possesses only a blurred line that distinguishes it from design. Often, sculptural works of the Art Nouveau genre were produced with a purpose in mind. Instead, many artists took objects from everyday life and embellished them in accordance with Art Nouveau. Consequently, even though a bronze statue might have been a beautiful piece of decoration on its own, it often also had a function, for example as a clock or jewellery holder. During the Art Nouveau epoch, handicraft experienced a renaissance, and during the following Art Deco period, this practice was perfected.
The origins of our works - the sculptor Bruno Zach
Bruno Zach was a sculptor who was born in Ukraine in 1891 and who lived and worked in Austria until 1945. In our Bronze Shop you can purchase replicas of his Art Nouveau statues and sculptures. Most of his sculptures were made of bronze and ivory, depicting tall and athletic women in the nude. Often, his bronze art pieces were considered to be erotica, and Art Nouveau nudes were no rarities in his portfolio. Bruno Zach, like no other, knew how to skilfully combine bronze with ivory and create a statue that, apart from its craftsmanship and its classy portrayal of an artistic nude, was also captivating due to its mix of materials. He learned his trade from Hans Bitterlich and Josef Muellner, and during that time he also came in touch with several different styles which influenced his work. As a result, a lot of characteristics of Art Nouveau can be found in his works, yet some elements of Art Deco and oriental art can also be discerned. Some of Bruno Zach's pieces even obtained six-digit sums at auctions of modern art. In our Bronze shop, you can find several sculptures that were designed and signed by him. Figurines that were cast by the artist himself were signed with either B. Zach or Bruno Zach.
The characteristics of the multi-faceted Art Nouveau style
The numerous influences of the different artistic genres that shaped the Art Nouveau style, combined with a lack of a consistent programme, contributed to the fact that the essential characteristics of Art Nouveau can be a bit blurry from time to time. However, some important characteristics could be seen throughout the whole Art Nouveau period. This artistic genre opposed Historicism, therefore it contested everything traditional and familiar. The artists wanted to create something new and invent their own style. This new style was supposed to encompass all the arts instead of just influencing some areas. This is why whole buildings or housing complexes were fashioned after the Art Nouveau style, which was reflected in the architecture, façade decorations, furnishings and decorations. The most prominent characteristic of Art Nouveau art projects was the line management which was reminiscent of floral elements and was prone to geometric figures. Often, this line management is apparent in ornaments. Other characteristics include curved lines, sweeping elements and the breaking with symmetrical sequences.
The origins of the characteristics of Art Nouveau
The line management and design of Art Nouveau derives from nature, which was a central element of this particular genre and was therefore often imitated. Consequently, animals and plants are frequent motifs in Art Nouveau works. The combination of sweeping movements and nature naturally lead to the popular motifs of waves, vines or moving water. In fact, those motifs are the ones that are most commonly portrayed, sometimes in abstract ways, in Art Nouveau. If you take a closer look at some of the bronze figurines in our shop, you will notice some of those characteristics.
The fact that objects with a specific purpose, such as pieces of furniture, often got an artistic touch was no coincidence. The movement demanded and strived for functionality. This demand went as far as, for example, the façade of an Art Nouveau building having to give a clue about its purpose. A symmetrical and arranged structure was therefore unnecessary. The creators broke free from old patterns and began to plan buildings according to their layout. As a consequence, contorted buildings were no rarity in Art Nouveau. The genre additionally followed the rules of handicraft. Followers of the movement strived for a unity between arts and crafts, they wanted aesthetic art to be experienced in everyday life. This way, ordinary objects were made into pieces of art.
The connection between everyday life and art - Art Nouveau architecture
The art of daily life often suggests itself. Even today nearly every citizen of a German city can name at least one of its Art Nouveau buildings. They do not even have to be public buildings like schools or court houses, as some of the buildings that were erected in Art Nouveau style are just common residential buildings today.
Financial reasons caused many Art Nouveau architects to limit themselves to an ornamental decoration of the façade. Yet, one might argue that the artists were not lacking proper funding, as the buildings that we now know as ordinary Art Nouveau residential houses were probably the representative villas of businessmen or the residences of wealthy citizens back then. In the past, Art Nouveau was appreciated by people of the upper class who had a sense for modern art. Aside from the modern design elements of the ornaments and the floral line management, Art Nouveau architecture also used new materials. Iron and glass were used both functionally and decoratively. Some models for this were London's King's Cross Station or the Eiffel Tower in Paris. In contrast to that, opulent ornaments were made from marble, colourful stucco, tiles or metal applications.
Focussing on nature - Art Nouveau in painting
Nature was painting's most important element in Art Nouveau. This is why painting especially focusses on the Art Nouveau artist's connection to nature. The paintings contain numerous stylistic elements which go back to a devotion to nature, for example decorative and flowing lines, floral ornaments, symbolic characters and geometric shapes. The beauty and uniqueness of nature was often expressed by the usage of animal motifs, such as eagles, lions, owls or swans, which were painted or cast as bronze figurines. Maybe the artists wanted to capture nature in its most beautiful form on canvas when they were faced with the advancing industrialisation.
The field of painting was the one which best highlighted the Art Nouveau style, with advertisements and posters being its most useful and appropriated forms. Furthermore, Art Nouveau also influenced illustrations, book illumination, and text and textile design. It should be mentioned that poster art was particularly popular at the turn of the century.
Art Nouveau painting also had a tendency towards the mysterious and fantastic, making it a probable predecessor of Surrealism.
Artists of the Art Nouveau epoch
French artist Henri de Toulose-Lautrec was a famous proponent of Art Nouveau who paved the way for modern advertising art. Czech artist Alfons Mucha was also a well-known representative of the advertising industry, which was still at its very beginning back then. Artistically designed fonts and skilfully deployed female charms were basic components of advertisement posters in Art Nouveau. Another important Art Nouveau artist was the German Peter Behrens who worked as a painter, font and graphic designer, book artist and even architect. For example, he designed the famous Berlin turbine factory. His works clearly show that the German Art Nouveau style was characterised by more strong forms and depicted more of a certain dignity and heaviness.
The Swiss Ferdinand Hodler is seen as an Art Nouveau artist, although he coined his own style in which there are just some strong Art Nouveau influences. He cherished a lyrical sentiment in his works, but he also paid attention to a linear stylisation. His motifs are influenced by Symbolism. Hodler was a painter who portrayed the characters in his works rather vividly, and their expressions also showed a strong character. Other important Art Nouveau artist are the Austrian Josef Franz Maria Hoffmann (1870-1965), the Spaniard Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) or American Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933).
Art Nouveau in Austria - Gustav Klimt as a powerful representative
Austria also had a strong proponent of the Art Nouveau style: Gustav Klimt, who was the main representative of the Vienna Secession. He encountered the Art Nouveau genre in Munich and was soon after influenced by it in his paintings. One can often find naturalistic and abstract elements side by side in his paintings. His faces and bodies were drawn quite authentically, while the clothes, objects and free spaces were filled with abstract surface decorations in which ornaments and figures merged into each other. Klimt also created three ceiling paintings for Vienna University, which were dedicated to medicine, jurisprudence and philosophy. However, they provoked a negative response and therefore never adorned the ceilings of those faculties. In the end, they were destroyed by a fire during the Second World War.
Yet, Klimt was in an influential position within the art and culture of the monarchy. He was a popular portrait painter of the Viennese society and his reputation as a muralist was also quite excellent. His most famous work is probably "The Kiss".
Influential groups of Art Nouveau artists all over Europe
During this time, several artistic groups were formed whose work had a huge influence on this epoch and who also lived according to the genre's principles. Among the groups of Art Nouveau artists were Nabis, the Société des Artistes Indépendants in Paris, Darmstadt's artists' colony in Germany or Arts and Crafts in London.
Rebellious and young - the group of artists called Nabis
The group Nabis was founded in 1888/1889 in Paris. Its founding members were rebellious and young art students of the Académie Julian in Paris. The group existed until 1905 and was strongly influenced by post-Impressionism, but mainly by Art Nouveau. The artists who joined this group were particularly known for their versatility and their use of many different media. Besides painting and statuary, they were also familiar with printing techniques, poster design, furnishings or textiles. The members of Nabis had a large influence in the field of graphic art. For many members, the main focus of their art was on design, which complied with the ideals of Art Nouveau.
An amalgamation of independent artists - the Société des Artistes Indépendants
The Société des Artistes Indépendants was founded in Paris in 1884. The Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture supported renowned artists during the period of the Second Empire. Artists could also gain recognition through political constellations. The Société was the result of those circumstances, as artists who did not get official support rarely had the chance to publicly exhibit their works. Therefore, the independent artists started to organise themselves. In 1884, the group, with the authorisation of the ministry of visual arts, was able to open up their first exhibition. This free exhibition presented more than 5,000 exhibits which were created by more than 400 artists. In 1910, a scandal was created around this group, leading to a division of the art world. In that year, a painting by Italian artist Joachim-Raphaël Boronali was exhibited. Its title was "Sunset over the Adrian Sea" and it showed a landscape with chaotic lines. The press report of an insider revealed that those lines were made by a donkey's tail, and a collector paid 400 Francs for it. The ensuing debate about the confession and the value of the painting ranged from outrage to delight, as such a work attacked the whole of Avant-garde. This piece and its background preoccupied the art world for several of the following decades.
Living and working together - Darmstadt's artists' colony
The term Darmstadt artist's colony designates both the group of artists who operated in Darmstadt between 1899 and 1914 as well as their place of activity, which was founded by the artists themselves. It was brought into being by Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse with the slogan "Flourish, my land of Hesse, and your art". In order to combine art with handicraft, which was supposed to bring new economic prosperity to his county, he appointed several Art Nouveau artists for the colony. Among others, Peter Behrens, Paul Bürck, Rudolf Bosselt and Hans Christiansen were supposed to develop modern and trendsetting forms of construction and living. At Darmstadt's Mathildenhoehe, the artists complied with their calling and filled this part of the city with numerous Art Nouveau buildings, for which they also did the interior design and decoration. The artists' colony was successful in reinvigorating the handicrafts. However, in 1914 the First World War began and a current exhibition had to be cancelled. Only a few works could be sold because of the war conditions, and the appointment of new artists was stopped. The Grand Duke's abdication in 1918 was the end of the artists' colony, and in 1929 it was officially disbanded.
Accomplished product design made in London - Arts and Crafts
The Arts and Crafts movement arose in the middle of the nineteenth century in London. It was dedicated to the combination of art, society and work and focussed on product design in particular. As a result, a return to handicrafts was put in the centre of their attention. The natural beauty of a material and handicraft's passion were very important for the members of this movement. The years between 1870 and 1920 were the heyday of the Arts and Crafts movement. The movement was convinced that there was a natural beauty to handicrafts, thereby making it a kind of reaction towards the Historicism of the Victorian period. The reason for this is that the movement perceived this period in time as just as soulless as the products of industrialism. The Arts and Crafts movement tried to give new life to the daily routine. Therefore, simplicity and a serious interaction with the material were highly valued by them.
Interested in one of our bronze statues for sale? The ordering process is extremely simple. Just put your desired figurine into the shopping cart, go through the transaction process and the bronze statue will be sent to your home. After you decided on one of our sculptures for sale, the piece will be dispatched from our depot in an excellent condition and safely packaged. Additionally, our products were signed by the artist. The weight of our sculptures for sale can range from 100g to 34.5kg. Consequently, the shipping of a bronze statue will cost a maximum of €13 in Germany and €28.50 outside of Germany but within Europe. When shipping to the US, Canada, Australia or Russia, we charge a maximum amount of €40.50. When it comes to the shipment of a small bronze figurine or sculpture that weighs up to 5kg, the cost of shipping within Germany will be €6.70. Naturally, our sculptures for sale can also be picked up at our store in Dresden, which shortens the delivery period.