Art Nouveau Jewelry
The Art Nouveau movement took hold during the Belle Epoque period of the late 19th century through the early 20th century. The style was a departure from classical art forms and toward a new sense of modernism, and jewelry was one of its most pure expressions. Art Nouveau jewelry is defined by sensuous forms of exceptional beauty and intricate detail. The movement was a feminine one; the female form is a recurring theme and beautiful women are often depicted as a enchanted nymphs, fairies or mermaids. Organic themes were ever-present in depictions of butterflies, dragonflies, peacock feathers, orchids, water lilies, irises and ferns. The jewelry was often colorful and beautiful enameling techniques, such as plique-a-jour and cloisonné, reached their pinnacle during this era. The great makers of the period included Rene Lalique, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Karl Faberge and Lucien Gautrait.