Art nouveau period: borders and concepts

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The article offers an extensive overview of modern approaches to definition of art nouveau as a literary era and to establishing its chronological boundaries. There have been analyzed main variations of the self-definition of the era as well as researchers’ attempts to find an appropriate definition to this complex aesthetic phenomenon. The extended interpretation of art nouveau as a «macroepoch» is examined, the period dating back to the end of the 18th century and connected primarily with the artistic system of Romanticism. Based on the aesthetic manifestos of German Naturalism, the meaning of the literary situation in 1880th Germany is examined, where the widespread proclamations of the «aesthetic revolution» and «modern» attitudes coexisted with the adherence to the deterministic aesthetics of the previous decades. The leading trends in the culture of the fin de siècle are connected with the onset of the first stage of art nouveau in the art and literature of 1890-1900, soon to be replaced by avant-garde art at the turn of the second decade of the new century. Avant-garde, which associated itself with modernity, was mainly destroying already established art forms. This article suggests that the literary avant-garde as a «project of the future» manifests a utilitarian approach to the attitudes of the art nouveau on the brink of the new century, making art nouveau accessible for the «audience» and bringing the artist into the space of political interaction with the society.

About the authors

Alexander V. Belobratov

Saint Petersburg State University

Author for correspondence.

Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of the History Foreign Literature

Russian Federation, 11, Universitetskaya Nab., 199034, Russian Federation


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