Saturday, August 20, 2016

Art Nouveau and Symbolism of the 1890s
Prints on Paper

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Introduction[1]
The poster began making rapid strides in development during the late 19th Century against a background of economic and cultural maturation of European society. From the beginning of the 20th Century poster art became recognized as an independent art form and it was accepted as a separate field in the modern art movement. This unique medium unfolded as a highly visual communication invoking a high level of consciousness. It differed from established art such as oil paintings on canvas, being based on the premise that it should communicate a topic or message creating a strong communication line between the sender and the receiver. That symbiotic relationship necessitated the development of poster art as a composite design, weaving together commonplace elements such as politics, economics, daily life, culture, customs and advertising. In other words, the posters that we now celebrate came together in an era where the messenger and the message flowered into a marvelous design.

Schweppes, Table Waters (1890).
Artist: M. Brown (Unknown).
Technique: Color lithograph.
Size: 298.0 x 151.5 cm.

The era of graphic design was birthed in the poster art of the 19th Century. The modern version no longer resides within analogue techniques. As the digital disruption started to unfold, new dynamics would emerge from the world of computer programming, scripting, photographic and layout software packages. Suddenly what was an individualistic effort with an unlimited imagination would now become more predetermined since the bounds of the imagination were shackled within the limitations imposed by computer programs, scripting languages, photographic and layout packages. Go to the internet and scour through a multitude of websites. So many of them look the same. IT computer processes seem to have placed imaginary limits on our analogue imaginations.

Colman’s Mustard.
Artist: John Hassall (Walmes, 1868 – 1948, London).
Technique: Color lithograph.
Size: 220.5 x 97.6 cm.


Art Nouveau and Symbolism of the 1890s [1]

Photograph of Sarah Bernhardt.

Gismonda, Sarah Bernhardt (1895).
Artist: Alphonse Mucha (Ivancice, Southern Moravia, 1860 – 1939, Prague).
Technique: Color lithograph.
Size: 218.3 x 73.1 cm.

Sarah Bernhardt American Tour (1895).
Artist: Alphonse Mucha (Ivancice, Southern Moravia, 1860 – 1939, Prague).
Technique: Color lithograph.
Size: 199.6 x 76.5 cm.

La dame aux Camélias, Sarah Bernhardt (1896).
Artist: Alphonse Mucha (Ivancice, Southern Moravia, 1860 – 1939, Prague).
Technique: Color lithograph.
Size: 208.7 x 76.7 cm.

Absinthe Robette (1896).
Artist: Henri Privat-Livemont (Schaerbeek 1861 – 1936).
Technique: Color lithograph.
Size: 110.3 x 81.1 cm.

Napolean in Egypt (1895).
Artist: Eugéne Grasset (Lausanne, 1841 – 1917, Sceaux).
Technique: Color lithograph.
Size: 52.5 x 38.0 cm.

Exposition de blanc, a la Place Clichy.
Artist: Henri Thiriet (Unknown).
Technique: Color lithograph.
Size: 130.4 x 91.6 cm.

Rayon d’or (1895).
Artist: Pal Jean de Paléolodgue (Bucharest, 1890 – 1942, Miami).
Technique: Color lithograph.
Size: 119.1 x 81.8 cm.

The Yellow Book (1895).
Artist: Aubrey Beardsley (Brighton, 1872 – 1898, Manton).
Technique: Color lithograph.
Size: 65.0 x 22.8 cm.

L’aurore (1897).
Artist: Eugéne Carriere (Gournay, Seine-Saint-Denis, 1849 – 1906, Paris).
Technique: Color lithograph.
Size: 211.1 x 146.0 cm.


References:
[1] World Poster Museum – Exhibit 1: World Poster Masterpieces (1989) from the Lords Gallery Collection.

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