Sea Creatures Inspired Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau’s organic shapes surfaced thanks to some underwater inspiration, according to hyperallergic. With serpentine flourishes, a contrasting play of symmetry and asymmetry, and precise, vibrant colors, the zoological illustrations of 19th-century German biologist Ernst Haeckel were appreciated by viewers as much for their style as their science. Artists in particular were fascinated with the previously-unseen microscopic animals he portrayed, as they considered in the early 1900s how to visually respond to modern knowledge.

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