Art Nouveau Green Man Motif - Origin And Meaning

Art Nouveau was a jewelry movement at the turn of the 19th century that emphasized organic designs celebrating nature. 

During this time there was a reprisal of the Green Man motif. This icon was used for centuries in art and architecture and now, its symbolism aligned with the style and virtues associated with Art Nouveau.

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 Green Man is a mythical being depicted as a face emerging from stylized foliage. A powerful image that was used as an allegory for Spring. 

This motif is versatile and has several forms. 

The most common being the Foliate Head with leaves that surround the face.

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The Disgorging Head where burgeoning verdure expels from the mouth.

Or the Bloodsucker Head. This version has greenery sprouting from the face’s eyes, nose, and mouth; completely integrated with nature.

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At times, Green Man will also be illustrated with vines accented by bright shining gemstones as berries. This variation is symbolic of prosperity. 

No matter its form, the message is always the same, humanity harmonizing with and respecting nature.

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