With its fluid organic forms and its devotion to beauty in design, art nouveau has enjoyed great popularity, both at its inception and during the modern resurgence of interest and enthusiasm. Alastair Duncan tells the story of its meteoric rise from its origins as a reaction by young artists and designers to the traditionalism and revivalism of the mid-19th-century fine and decorative arts. The "new art" first made itself felt around 1895, in architecture, furniture, glass, ceramics and the other applied arts, and fell into eclipse after World War I, until its rediscovery in the 1960s. The author recounts the history of this important and influential movement in detail, introducing the main personalities - Galle, Lalique, Tiffany and others - and relating their aims and accomplishments to the background from which the movement emerged. Alastair Duncan, for 14 years associated with Christie's, New York, is an independent consultant on the decorative arts and a recognised authority on art nouveau and art deco. His many books include "Art Nouveau Furniture" (1982) "Art Deco" (1988) and "Louis Majorelle" (1991), all published by Thames and Hudson.