Jewelry was one of the purest, and most successful, expressions of the Art Nouveau movement. It captured the atmosphere and the passion of the fin de siÅcle, as well as the moral and artistic freedom that characterized the period. Fresh designs and motifs were created with an intense excitement that was shared by artists all over the world. Sensuous animal and plant forms surged with new life; the female form struggled toward a new freedom, suggesting a long-hidden eroticism; and sunsets and changing seasons reflected the symbolic view of art in nature borrowed from the Japanese. This book deals with major jewelers in France—their inspirations, techniques, and themes—and then follows the parallel modern movement that spread through Europe and the United States. With a detailed reference section and a collection of dramatic photographs, this treasury will appeal to collectors and jewelry lovers alike.
Vivienne Becker is the author of Antique and Twentieth-century Jewenry and Fabulous Fakes, a history of costume jewelry. She lectures on jewelry in Britain and the US.