Art Nouveau flourished in France and Belgium at the turn of the twentieth century. Organic forms inspired by nature, frequently accentuated with asymmetrical curves or elaborate flourishes, characterize its decorative vocabulary. Although purportedly antihistoricist, its elegant forms can often evoke the Rococo style of mid-eighteenth-century France; alternately, the arts of Japan also played an important role in defining the aesthetic. The term art nouveau derives from the name of Siegfried Bing's shop L'Art Nouveau ("The New Art"), opened in Paris in 1895. Bing sold exceptional pieces by many of the best-known European and Japanese designers working in this mode, including de Feure, who was hired as the head of its design department in 1900. In response to popular demand, however, poor-quality mass production hastened the demise of this original style in the following years.
[René Haase, Paris, until 1926; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Modern Design," March 30–December 3, 2006, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Modern Design: Selections from the Collection," May 30–October 5, 2008.
L'Art décoratif aux Expositions des Beaux-Arts. Vol. 1, Paris, 1903, pls. 5, 6.
Penelope Hunter-Stiebel. "The Decorative Arts of the Twentieth Century." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 37 (Winter 1979–1980), p. 5, ill.
Gary Tinterow et al. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 8, Modern Europe. New York, 1987, p. 93, colorpl. 70.