15 May. 2023

The Art Nouveau style in Paris

Inspired by natural forms such as the sinuous curves of plants and flowers, the Art Nouveau style of architecture, the successor of the Haussmannian style, is visible across the capital.

We look back to its origins and its codes.

The origins 

Art Nouveau was born in England around 1860, and arrived in France some thirty years later following on from the Haussmannian style. It was to revolutionize not only art, but also the capital’s architecture with internationally renowned buildings such as the Samaritaine and the Galeries Lafayette, as well as the iconic Hector Guimard-designed entrances to the metro stations.

The movement was directly linked to industrialization, symbolizing a reaction against the deluge of identical manufactured objects.

Its codes 

  • • Inspired by nature: sinuous forms representing plants, insects, floral motifs and even dragonflies.
  • • A pronounced use of “natural” colours in soft, pastel tones: green, blue, pink, beige…
  • • A daring mixture of materials, Art Nouveau facades often feature stone rubbing shoulders with iron and ceramics.
  • • Highlighting natural light through the extensive use of coloured stained glass windows representing the plant world.

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