Art Nouveau literally translates to new art, which describes this short but sweet jewelry period perfectly. The Art Nouveau Era lasted from 1895-1910 and produced some of the most unique, creative, and even risqué jewelry of all time.
While Belle Époque jewelry was being produced during the same time as Art Nouveau jewelry, they couldn't be more opposite. Art Nouveau jewelry designers rebelled against the monochromatic designs of Belle Époque jewelry and opted for colorful and creative, handmade designs inspired by nature and/or the female figure.
Art Nouveau jewelry was so creative and perhaps ahead of its time that it wasn't actually appreciated by the masses until years later. The designs were so bold and risqué, sometimes featuring motifs of a nude female figure. Women of the era were dressed extremely conservatively, so jewelry items like this were considered to be extremely taboo.