Art Nouveau illustration


The cover picture of yesterday’s book purchase complements the month, being a woodcut by Leopold Stolba entitled February from a Ver Sacrum calendar for 1903. The book is Art Nouveau: Posters and Designs (1971), a collection edited by Andrew Melvin for the Academy Art Editions series and the book includes some covers for Jugend magazine which coincidentally was the subject of Monday’s post.


Ornamental letters from The Studio magazine, 1894; no artists credited.

I wrote about another of the books in the Academy series, The Illustrators of Alice, a couple of years ago and while I don’t really need yet another Art Nouveau book, the presence of a few illustrations I hadn’t seen before made the purchase worthwhile. Further examples follow.


The Three Musicians by Aubrey Beardsley from The Savoy (1896).

If I have a copy of this vignette in one of my many Beardsley volumes I haven’t been able to find it. The Savoy ran for eight issues from January to December 1896 and Beardsley was its art editor.


The Nimphidia and the Muses Elizium (1896) by Charles Ricketts from The Studio.

I do have this Ricketts illustration in a collection of the artist’s work but the reproduction isn’t as good as this. The illustration depicts Oberon, King of the Fairies, and was a frontispiece for a poem by Michael Drayton.


The Midnight Feast by Franz Wacik.

This curious picture was the biggest surprise. I’d not heard of Franz Wacik (1883–1938) before and the book frustrates by giving little information about him beyond saying he was one of the Viennese Secession artists and the drawing is a lithograph. He was also a book illustrator although it’s anyone’s guess what this illustrates. If you have a clue then please leave a comment.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Jugend Magazine
Dorian Gray revisited
The Illustrators of Alice

6 thoughts on “Art Nouveau illustration”

  1. According to an Illustration website, Franz Wacik created some images for Hans Christian Anderson, maybe all the birds suggest it’s from “The Bird of Popular Song”, or similar?

  2. Thanks, Rossco, I’d noticed he illustrated a collection of Andersen’s stories but couldn’t think which one it might be.

  3. As to the “M” and fish vignettes from the October, 1894 issue of “The Studio”, I have a source that credits the “M” to a C.A. Allen and the fish to a Peter C. Brown. This is from a Dover Pictorial book entitled “Art Nouveau – An Anthology of Design and Illustration from The Studio” which shows the entire page that includes the above designs.

  4. Hi Jere. I bought a copy of that book myself recently and it’s evident that where the Dover graphics have been taken from original sources, the book that’s the subject of this post seems to have copied its material (some of which is poorly-reproduced) from other books, including that Dover volume which also contains the Ricketts piece.

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