Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Hill House

Art advances as much by word as by image: without The Stones of Venice the Gothic Revival would have been a very different affair, as would twentieth-century modernism without Vers une architecture. But some movements are wordless. A new visual sensibility arises, is found urgent or appealing, and is widely imitated—the entire process occurring by means of image alone. Fashions in couture occur always in this way (the miniskirt required no manifesto), and, occasionally, they do in art as well. Such was the case with the Art Nouveau, perhaps the least literary of all artistic movements.

 

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