Belle Epoque

Belle Epoque

French for "Beautiful Era, "La Belle Époque" was a period in European social hisory that began during the late 19th century and lasted until World War I. Occurring during the time of the French Third Republic and the German Empire, the “Belle Époque” was named in retrospect, when it began to be considered a "golden age" for the upper classes, a time when peace prevailed among the major powers of Europe, new technologies improved upper-class lives that were unclouded by income tax, and the commercial arts adapted Renaissance and 18th century styles to modern forms. The arts underwent a radical transformation during the decades before World War I, and new artistic forms associated with cultural modernity emerged. Art Nouveau was notably a large artistic movement within the more general “Belle Époque.”


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