Amsterdam is mainly known for it’s canals, museums and 17th century architecture. Yearly over 4,5 million people visit our city to view the work of van Gogh and Rembrandt or take a trip on the canals.
What is relatively unknown about Amsterdam is the beautiful 19th century art nouveau architecture that can be found throughout the entire city. It is not as profound as in cities like Brussels or Paris, but the art nouveau movement did have a lasting impact on Amsterdam.
The general characteristics indicative of the art nouveau style, like organic asymmetric forms, whiplash-curves and the use of iron and glass, are often combined with other contemporary styles. Around 1902 it was popular to use art nouveau details in fences, windows and façades which makes the art nouveau influence less apparent.
We provide free walking tours in different area’s of the city so you can enjoy discovering the hidden gems!
About Art Nouveau
Art nouveau flourished briefly in Europe between 1890 and 1914. The movement spread organically though Europe and beyond, therefore knowing a wide variety of styles. Consequently, it is also known by various names like jugendstil (Germany), modern style (England) and wiener sezession (Austria). In Amsterdam both jugendstlil and art nouveau are practiced.
The art nouveau movement started as a reaction to the academic art from the 19th century. It’s aim was to contradict the emerging mass-production by appreciating craftsmanship. The general characteristics indicative of the form are the inspiration drawn from nature, symbolism inspired by the far East and the application of new materials such as wrought iron.
Art nouveau was soon followed up by new movements like art deco and the amsterdamse school. The latter emerged shortly after in the 1920’s and was started by a former employees of the important art nouveau architects Ed Cuypers. Different styles are often combined in one building which makes it sometimes difficult to tell them apart.