I have known this piece of art pretty much since I can remember.. It’s by Belgian artist Henri Privat-Livemont (when I googled him it seems the guy has about four aliases so I picked that one) – and it’s called Absinthe Robette (fairly obvious – it’s on the painting). It’s one of those paintings that brings back so many memories because it has always been in my home and we still have it to this day.
The reason I’ve mentioned Absinthe Robette is because it was my first glimpse into the world of Art Nouveau, which is what I wanted to talk about today. Art Nouveau is one of those styles of paintings that I think just has the power to immediately take you back to a different era – a sort of fantasy world where everything is elegant and pastel and fairly surreal. I LOVE it. Which is why I want everyone else to love it too – it’s just too pretty.
For those who are unfamiliar with Art Nouveau, it tends to take inspiration from the colours and forms of natural subjects – hence why Art Nouveau tends to look ‘flowery’. I’ve done a bit of research and apparently Art Nouveau is also referred to as ‘The Whiplash’ because of the ‘curvy style’ that was typically employed by Art Nouveau artists (I found this interesting). The general theme running through Art Nouveau artwork is also one of harmonisation – which is why the work tends to be so fluid and easy on the eye.
Another Art Nouveau artist that I am very fond of is Mucha – one of the most famous artists of this period. I actually ended up bringing a whole selection of Mucha souvenirs back from Europe last summer when I was travelling because I just adored it – posters/bookmarks/postcards… I really like Mucha..
So anyway, I’m looking to these artists for inspiration at the moment because I’ve been struggling with ideas recently and needed to free the old noodle up a little.. Hopefully I’ll be inspired!