As the dawn of a new century approached and cityscapes became grayer, smokier, and increasingly mechanized, a group of artists found themselves yearning for something more organic, compelled to bring a sense of romance and mystique back into the world. They focused their creativities on a celebration of nature’s beauty—of the whiplash undulations of flowered vines growing forth unencumbered, of the way the wild winds blew through long flowing hair, transforming it into untamed silken tendrils that danced upon the air like the serpents of Medusa, of diaphanous gowns and impossibly intricate byzantine jewels that brought out the enchantress inside every woman. For each sunflower that opens its golden petals to an azure sky, awaiting its favorite bird or butterfly, there is a moonflower longing for the chill breeze of the night, carrying upon it the silent wings of its beloved owl, moth, or fluttering bat in a kind of starlit ballet. In this same way, for every work of art this extraordinary movement has created in celebration of the golden glories of the day, there are those that equally revel in the denizens and decadence of the velvet-clad night.
Pieces shown are from Kambriel’s personal collection of Art Nouveau antiques—select treasures available via kambriel.com.