Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Design Nouveau

Abstract design based on arabesques

Abstract design based on arabesques

Abstract design based on wings and leaf shapes

 Abstract design based on stars, circles, leaves

Abstract design based on small leaf shapes

Abstract design based on seahorses, fish, lizards, tiny leaves

Abstract design based on peacock feathers

Abstract design based on organic shapes and arabesques

Abstract design based on leaves, grass, and flowers

Abstract design based on leaves and organic shapes

Abstract design based on leaves

Abstract design based on leaves and arabesques

Abstract design based on flowers and leaves

Abstract design based on butterflies and leaves

Maurice Pillard-Verneuil (1869-1942) began architectural studies in Paris but a strong interest in art led him to apprentice at L'École Guérin under Eugène Grasset, the master of the emerging Art Nouveau style of the late 19th century.

Under the twin influences of Grasset and Japanese art, Verneuil developed into the perfect embodiment of La Belle Époque artist-designer, drawing inspiration from nature, and working in such diverse disciplines as posters, embroidery, furniture, ceramics and batik prints. As a correspondent for L'Illustration, Verneuil visited Cambodia and Java and began collecting Asian handicrafts and art, a passion for which he maintained throughout his life.

The incorporation of the natural world - plants, animals and sea creatures - into his ornamental graphic design work would remain his lasting influence, and the novel motifs were widely circulated in a series of books he published alone or in collaboration with other artists.

The images above (all cleaned slightly) are from the 1900 book, 'Combinaisons Ornementales se Multipliant à l'Infini à l'Aide du Miroir' (Decorative Combinations, Infinitely Multiplied with a Mirror) at NYPL (about sixty images in total).

After writing all this I discovered that the book was actually a collaborative effort between Verneuil ('MPV'), Alphonse Mucha (circle with an 'M') and George Auriol (I *think* the image with blue leaves and grass is his) {neither of whom are credited by NYPL}. The majority of the images here are by Verneuil. I don't think there are any particular sites with background on Verneuil worth linking - I gleaned snippets of information from a range of secondary sources.

Previously related:


Jane Librizzi said...

Design Nouveau is a revelation. This is what makes the internet so exciting: the chance to discover new arts that aren't part of a marketplace mentality. It makes me proud to have a NYPL library card. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

absolutely stunning...
i am a huge fan of art nouveau, thanks for these images!

lotusgreen said...

pure music

Karla said...

These would definitely jazz up the walls here. Too bad I'm a little short on time for stencil projects...

Matt Rolph said...

Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939)is one of my favorite artists. I'm glad you noted his collaboration in Art Nouveau at the end of the post. Lovely images.

Unknown said...

That looks like a stylized GA in the upper right, so I bet you're correct as usual ;-)

The Bearded Belgian said...

So very beautiful and inspiring!

Unknown said...

I am just getting into Mucha's work and I am in love... I got a beautiful book recently Called Alphonse Mucha: Masterworks. It;s a collection of his best stuff and some of those designs above are in it. Thanks for sharing...

akeleven said...

Dover Publications printed a copy of this book "Art Nouveau Designs in Color [Paperback]" which is out of print now but still available on amazon.com. I've had it for years and tried to do a needlepoint of one - sadly never finished.

Krista J. Essler, LAc said...

I would love to do some crewel work based on this style. It has long been a favorite. The clothing of this period is amazing as well!

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