Artists like Louis Majorelle, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Alphonese Mucha are conjured up when one seeks to describe the Art Nouveau movement. As a design movement directly inspired by nature, Art Nouveau designs are awash in asymmetrical and fluid designs often featuring leaf, vine and floral motifs. Most art nouveau architecture was confined to Europe but some notable buildings and interiors did appear in North America.

Art Nouveau lighting can be divided into two categories. European and North American. European designs are often more fluid and delicate and feature etched and lightly coloured glass in combination with antique brass and verde patina finishes. Due to the confluence of styles in North America at the time, Art Nouveau designs are often combined with elements of Edwardian and Arts and Crafts styles. Richly coloured luster art glass with floral shapes and patterns was commonly used on many North American fixtures giving them a very organic feel.