Social Research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-19, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 23 January, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2019.


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Art nouveau

core definition

Art nouveau is a term in art criticism and art history that refers to a decorative style that spread from London over much of Europe in the period 1880–1914

explanatory context

Art nouveau was an art of ornament deliberately opposed to art historicism. Its attempt to create a new style manifested itself mainly in the practical and applied arts, graphic art and small-scale sculpture.


Art nouveau is known by other names in Europe, including Jugendstil (Germany), Modern Style (France), Modernista (Catalonia), Stile Liberty (Italy), Sezessionstil (Austria).


In Britain, art nouveau is usually assumed to have begun with William Blake and traced through the work of the Pre-Raphaelites, Dante Gabriel Rossetti to Aubrey Beardsley, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Charles Ricketts, Frances and Margaret Macdonald, Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo and the arts and crafts movement of William Morris.

analytical review

associated issues


related areas

See also


art history


modern style



stile liberty


copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2019


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