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Stephen Smith explores the objects of Parisian Art Nouveau and learns how some of the 19th century's most glamorous, controversial figures inspired an extraordinary movement.

The delicious objects of Parisian Art Nouveau are explored by cultural correspondent Stephen Smith. Uncovering how the luscious decorative style first erupted into the cityscape, Stephen delves into the city's bohemian past to learn how some of the 19th century's most glamorous and controversial figures inspired this extraordinary movement.

Revealing the story behind Alphonse Mucha's sensual posters of actress Sarah Bernhardt, looking at the exquisite jewellery designer Renee Lalique and visiting iconic art nouveau locations such the famous Maxim's restaurant, the programme builds a picture of fin-de-siecle Paris.

But Smith also reveals that the style is more than just veneer deep. Looking further into the work of glassmaker Emile Galle and architect Hector Guimard, he sees how some of art nouveau's stars risked their reputation to give meaning and purpose to work they thought could affect social change.

59 minutes

Last on

Mon 16 Mar 2020 23:00

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Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:02

    Gotan Project

    Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)

  • 00:08

    Max Richter


  • 00:41

    Max Richter

    Shadow Journal

  • 00:44


    I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead


Role Contributor
Presenter Stephen Smith
Executive Producer Franny Moyle
Series Producer Mary Downes
Director Mary Downes