|Years active||c. 1890–1910|
The Art Nouveau movement of architecture and design first appeared in Brussels (Belgium) in the early 1890s, and quickly spread to France and to the rest of Europe. It began as a reaction against the formal vocabulary of European academic art, eclecticism and historicism of the 19th century, and was based upon an innovative use of new materials, such as iron and glass, to open larger interior spaces and provide maximum light; curving lines such as the whiplash line; and other designs inspired by plants and other natural forms.
The early Art Nouveau designers in Brussels created not only art and architecture but also furniture, glassware, carpets, and even clothing and other decoration to match. Some of Brussels' municipalities, such as Schaerbeek, Etterbeek, Ixelles, and Saint-Gilles, were developed during the heyday of Art Nouveau and have many buildings in that style. After 1900, the style gradually became more formal and geometric. The final Art Nouveau landmark in Brussels was the Stoclet Palace by the Austrian architect Josef Hoffmann (1905–11), now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which marked the transition to a more geometric and formal style and the birth of Art Deco and early modernism.
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