Art Nouveau, the decorative style that set the tone in Europe between 1890 and 1910, was not only characterized by organic, curvilinear lines and floral motifs. Many artists at the time also depicted highly idealized women in their work. Derived from classical antiquity, Byzantine icons or medieval legends, these fictional creatures with long, luscious locks of hair and transparent robes, were incorporated in posters, book illustrations, jewellery and ornamental objects made of silver, glass or ceramics. Not only did these women look like goddesses, they also acted as such. Often they personified higher ideals, human emotions or timeless virtues. The exhibition "Goddesses of Art Nouveau" presents these allegorical figures – recreated by both male and female Art Nouveau artists – within the context of social developments of the time.
See also the essay Het conflictmodel.
Photography: David Hup