Curved, flowing lines. A description published in Pan magazine of Hermann Obrist's wall-hanging Cyclamen described it as “sudden violent curves generated by the crack of a whip,” which became well-known during the early spread of Art Nouveau. Subsequently, not only did the work itself become better-known as The Whiplash, but the term “whiplash” is frequently applied to the characteristic curves employed by Art Nouveau artists. Such decorative “whiplash” motifs formed by dynamic, undulating, and flowing lines in a syncopated rhythm, are found throughout the architecture, painting, sculpture, and other forms of Art Nouveau design. Sometimes referred to as tensile line.
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