ALAIN WEILL    Book Number: 85544    Product format: Hardback

At the pinnacle of 19th century design, the Art Nouveau poster breathes the spirit of the age. 32 chapters in this huge and gorgeous book cover themes from Montmartre to The Caricaturists, while a country-by-country analysis includes not only western Europeans like Jules Chéret and Aubrey Beardsley but also Russia, Poland, Scandinavia and Japan. A few named artists have a chapter to themselves: Toulouse-Lautrec, Mucha, Grasset and the Nabis. The preface, translated from an 1893 manifesto, pulls no punches: "That Lautrec's got a hell of a nerve - great flat dollops of white, black and red - those gaga old capitalists, sitting at tables with clever little tarts." Art Nouveau, Jugendstil and The Secession represented a comeback for the decorative arts in the wake of Victorian realism, with Arts and Crafts, Medievalism and Japanese Ukiyo-e being hugely influential. Challenging traditional hierarchies in artistic genre, Bonnard's France-Champagne poster of 1891 depicts a seductively inebriated woman, while Valloton's poster for the revue La Pepinière shows a bank of grinning, toothy men leaning over a balcony to applaud the show. At the other extreme, Alphonse Mucha's swirling aesthetic was the perfect vehicle for the actress Sarah Bernhardt, mysterious, seductive and powerful, with her Medea clutching a bloody dagger providing a particularly strong image. The art of the Austrian Secession was severely geometrical, dominated by the Fledermaus Cabaret, whose programmes were designed by Klimt, Orlik and Kokoschka. German poster art produced the stunning simplicity of the red and black Novelta Cigaretten advert, Spanish and Italian posters tended towards the figurative and romantic, while in Britain we had the sinuous lines of Aubrey Beardsley. A huge book with an informative commentary, sumptuously illustrated with all our favourites and more. 304pp, colour reproductions throughout. 10½" x 12¼".
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Published price: £35
Bibliophile price: £16.00

Additional product information

ISBN 9780711237186
Browse this category: Art & Architecture

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