More illustrated Baudelaire. This edition of Les Fleurs du Mal dates from 1917 but the illustrations by Tony George-Roux have a distinctly Symbolist quality even though Symbolism as an art movement was pretty much over by this point. Baudelaire died twenty years before the first Symbolist manifesto was published but that manifesto named him as one of the leading poets of the movement so the connection is a fitting one. There’s a touch of Félicien Rops in some of these plates.
Tony George-Roux (1894–1928) was French, and if he produced more work along these lines I’ve yet to find it. The illustrations, engraved for this edition by Charles Clement, aren’t the best reproductions so I’ve added an additional plate at the end found on another site.
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Back at the fin de siècle with this study by Octave Uzanne of book cover design in the 1890s. L’art dans la décoration extérieure des livres is over four hundred pages of very varied designs, from covers for popular novels to the state of the art by usual suspects Aubrey Beardsley, Charles Ricketts et al. Léon Rudnicki provides the cover and some interior illustrations. The examples below include pieces by Symbolist artists Félicien Rops and Franz Stuck, as well as one of Alphonse Mucha’s designs for Judith Gautier’s Mémoires d’un Éléphant blanc. The complete book may be browsed here or downloaded here.
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Selections from Modern Book-plates and their Designers, an overview of British, American and European designs published by The Studio magazine in 1898. These small Studio books are always good to see, not least for the period ads in the opening and closing pages. A couple of the designs are familiar from later reprints, notably Cyril Goldie’s remarkable accumulation of thorns and skulls. Many others are in the swirling and tendrilled style of Art Nouveau which The Studio did much to promote in Britain. Also of interest are a few entries from well-known fine artists who are seldom associated with this kind of design. Among these is Belgian Symbolist Fernand Khnopff who contributes a design of his own and an article about Flemish bookplate design.
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Continuing the delve into back issues of Jugend magazine, the German fin de siècle periodical of “art and life”, this post covers the year 1899. The earlier years of the magazine are replete with a variety of elegant and often bizarre graphics, as well as some classic examples of Art Nouveau graphic design. 1899 is the point in the magazine’s history that the variety (and, for me, the interest) begins to diminish. The covers lose their earlier inventiveness while the Art Nouveau stylings within are being replaced by drab illustrations of the German middle classes and patriotic depictions of country folk. There are still gems to be found, however, some of which follow below. As before, anyone wanting to see more of these graphics is advised to explore the bound volumes at the Heidelberg University archive. The two books for 1899 can be found here and here.
Otto Eckman (above) and Julius Diez (below) were heavily featured in the earlier years of the magazine and Diez in particular produces some of the best work in this year’s run.
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