Art Nouveau developed from the the Arts and Crafts Movement. It attempts to create organic forms and a sense of movement by the use of flowing curves and austere detailing.
In Paris in 1895, Siegfried Bing opened La Maison de l’Art Nouveau where he sold furniture designed by Georges de Feure, Eugene Gaillard and Edward Colonna The simple, light furniture featured tapering legs, gentle curves and minimal carving, giving it an airy, floating appearance. It was usually made of walnut or, occasionally, oak.
In 1897, another group of artists in Paris, calling themselves Les Six, held an exhibition of furniture in the Art Nouveau style. Their work featured sinuous, flowing lines, sometimes with gilt metal fittings.
The great Paris Exhibition of 1900 was dominated by Art Nouveau works. Several of the leading French cabinet makers exhibited elaborately carved works, often covered in marquetry, in the style.
While Art Nouveau flourished in France and England, with the exception of the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany, it had little impact in America.