Carlos Schwabe is considered a symbolist painter, and also is credited as the presursor of Art Nouveau because of his floral ornamention work in the 1890. As a young man and budding artist, Carlos Schwabe moved in 1870 from Hamburg, Germany to Geneva, Switzerland, and in 1882 attended the Ecole des Arts Industriels.
Under Jean Mittey he dealt mainly with drawings and studies of plants and already developed at that time a passion for mystical themes. After 1884, he lived for several years in Paris, made cover decorative paintings for the Manufactory and grappled with symbolism.
In 1892 he took part in the Salon de la Rose-Croix, creating illustrations for the magazine Displaying 750 of 1453 characters.