Between the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century the Art Nouveau movement introduced a vital spirit of artistic and cultural renewal into Europe and the United States. It assumed a variety of different names and interpretations throughout Europe: Austria (Sezessionsstil), Germany (Jugendstil), Netherlands (Nieuwe Kunst), Spain (Modernismo), England and Scotland (Modern Style), France and Belgium (Art Nouveau), Italy (Liberty or stile floreale).
This far-reaching international vogue filtered through every aspect of artistic production, from paintings and graphics to advertising posters, finding its most remarkable expression in architecture, interior design and the decorative arts. It developed in reaction to academic art, eclecticism and to industrial production. Many interpreters of Art Nouveau - including Van de Velde, Tiffany, Klimt, Horta, Beardsley, Guimard, Mackintosh - were inspired by the sinuous, elegant and dynamic shapes and lines in flowers, plants and the female form, introducing these natural forms into their art. At the same time they explored the possibilities of industrial design through material such as iron, glass and cement to create an organic harmony of building, decoration and furnishings. The innovatory approach of Art Nouveau was disseminated through magazines, exhibitions, and conferences. Craftsmen's workshops, including those in Dresden, Munich and Vienna, were also influential in consolidating modern design.