Art Nouveau


Art Nouveau translate as NEW ART, It really was a huge movement that saw things change for good in art. Some would say it was the birth of graphic design.
During the era that it came about we saw department stores, Catalogs and mass production.
This was due to an invention in printing, Lithography, This made it accessible to businesses large and small to create advertising on a huge scale, They started to ask artist to create artwork and illustrations, colourise photos and create magazine adverts this led to them realising that they would need people to layout and create there advertising for them.
The people hired for this where called Graphic Designers.
They were expected to create beautiful advertising with illustrations and to suit the popular styles at the time.
As you can see below it was heavily influenced at first by Japanese prints.
This was due to the outlines and flat colours.
Also something I noticed about this style is that they use very thick and bulky lines,The almost replicates the look of stain glass window and it is very possible that this was something that was inspiring the artists at the time.

My research has taken me to look into the works of Alphonse Mucha, I have done some research into him before but wanted to look further. He was an artist/illustrator that was made famous for his advertising of women.
Its something that has always been about the whole ethos that Sex Sells is understandable but Mucha was very guilty of creating images that made women very objectified and made them into sex symbols to sell products.
The advertising below was to advertise bicycles which was a huge thing at the time anyway as women were not expected to ride bikes as it was said to take there virginity and also that the clothes they were was not appropriate to be riding bicycles in (dresses, heels etc) this makes it clear that this is an advertisement targeted at men, The placement of the manly objects, The straps of her garment, the tools and the black smith equipment shows that this is something for men, The women is placed in there just to draw the mens attention, The women is illustrated very promiscuously which is something to attract the men this is targeted to.

This was common theme within Mucha’s works, Most of the work featured a women and there was a lot stigma around his themes, More so now than at the time due to the fact that this was the norm and women where used to being represented like this but knower days its slightly more frowned upon.

Alphonse Mucha .jpgEven the way that his works portray the role of gender is very stereotypical, the one shows a women feeding her baby for a nestle advert.She is what would have been seen as dressed provocatively in this era, It shows a very “sexy” women who is feeding her baby, It just says something about how women where viewed at the time.

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This is another example of where a women is objectified and shown very sexually with that sort of gazing look is very typical of his work.

















I have concluded from this research that through out the eras when design was created it was very normal to use women as objects and sex symbols to advertise, This is something that still exists in certain forms although not usually as obvious.
The role of women in art and design was very degrading from the beginning, I also have noticed from this that there is a huge lack of multi – cultural representation, all the women are very white and there is no representation which makes a hint at the fact that this was not seen as beautiful at the time.


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