20th Century
Imperial Beauty

Pastel on paper on canvas, initialled lower left “ND”
Image size: 13 ¾ x 22 ½ inches (35 x 57 cm)
Gilt frame


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This fine Art Nouveau picture executed around 1900, depicts an auburn haired girl with a halo behind her and surrounded by Fritillaria Imperialis. It was the Pre-Raphaelites who caught the public’s attention to redheads. They were fascinated by them, producing vast quantities of images featuring flowing, curly, red hair dominating work from the era. This carried on into the Art Noveau period.

From the 1880s until the First World War, Europe witnessed the development of Art Nouveau. Taking inspiration from the unruly aspects of the natural world, Art Nouveau influenced art and architecture especially in the applied arts, graphic work, and illustration.