The art of Gisbert Combaz, 1869–1941


More from this Belgian artist whose splendid Art Nouveau peacock is a regular feature in books about fin de siècle art and design. La Libre Esthetique was a salon for which Combaz produced a number of posters, a few more of which may be seen below. The salamander postcard seems to be part of another set devoted to the four elements; Combaz may have produced further series as there’s also a volcano card depicting fire. All of this work dates from the 1890s. A few years later Combaz’s art took a darker turn with a series of propaganda pieces reacting to events during the First World War.



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The Elements by Gisbert Combaz


Alphonse Mucha produced several series of themed prints but none of them depict the traditional western (or alchemical) elements like this set of postcards. Gisbert Combaz was a Belgian contemporary of Mucha’s, and his cards were issued in 1899 at a time when he was producing Art Nouveau-styled posters and other graphics. There’ll be more of his work tomorrow.




Previously on { feuilleton }
Arcimboldo’s Four Elements
Joachim Beuckelaer’s Four Elements



Colour me Mr Popular as I’m interviewed once again, the venue on this occasion being Coilhouse which is a fine place to be featured. My thanks to S. Elizabeth for the indulgence. In the course of our discussion I mentioned The Peacock Obsession, and by coincidence these pages have been receiving links recently from Peacock’s Garden, a site devoted to that ubiquitous fowl. These two pieces can be found there with the Vogue cover being a new one to me. The artist is the great J. Allen St John, better known for his Edgar Rice Burroughs illustrations and distinctive title designs; Golden Age Comic Book Stories has many examples of his work.


This splendid Art Nouveau poster is by Gisbert Combaz (1869–1941) and those who’ve seen my Dodgem Logic cover may recognise the peacock whose outline I rather shamelessly swiped. Combaz’s poster turns up regularly in Art Nouveau histories but his other work is less visible which is a shame, he has a very bold graphic style and I’d love to see more. Lastly, I’ve linked to this before but it’s worth mentioning again, Seasons of the Peacock at Animalarium which also has Combaz’s poster.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The Art Nouveau dance goes on forever
Dodgem Logic #4