Les Maîtres de l’Affiche was a multi-volume guide to the state of poster art in the 1890s, published in five volumes from 1896 to 1900. Being a French publication, the contents are mostly by French artists but other nations are represented—Britain, Germany, Italy, the United States—although fewer contributions than you might expect given the quantity of pages to be filled. The chief attraction of these books is the attention they give to each design, all of which are printed in colour on a full page, and the time of publication which coincides with the birth of Art Nouveau. In addition to the great Alphonse Mucha there are designs by Eugène Grasset, Henri Privat-Livemont, Georges de Feure, Will Bradley, Louis Rhead and others. There’s also a lot of cabaret stuff from Montmartre which has never been to my taste (although I like the Steinlen posters) but those designs were the typical ones of the period.
The first four volumes in this set may be found at Gallica (Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4) but not the fifth volume—isn’t a national library supposed to be more thorough than this?—which may be seen at NYPL. For those who prefer paper reproductions, there’s a reprint in Dover Publications’ Pictorial Archive series, The Complete “Masters of the Poster”: All 256 Colour Plates from “Les Maîtres de l’Affiche”.
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Daybreak (1922) by Maxfield Parrish.
Happy new year. 02022? Read this.
The Prodigal Son (1922) by Giorgio de Chirico.
Carousel of Pigs (1922) by Robert Delaunay.
Twittering Machine (1922) by Paul Klee.
K VII (1922) by László Moholy-Nagy.
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As the gilded panel proclaims, this book is a collaboration between Edith Wharton and Maxfield Parrish. Italian Villas and their Gardens was published in 1904, and includes many photos of the houses and their grounds in addition to Parrish’s illustrations. The Parrish pictures look at times like unpopulated scenes from his illustrations for children’s books.
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Toshiaki Kato isn’t the first contemporary Japanese artist to work variations on Aubrey Beardley’s style but he’s one I’d not come across before. Kato’s cover illustrations run a gamut of familiar styles, not only Beardsley but Harry Clarke, Gustav Klimt, Tamara Lempicka, Maxfield Parrish and no doubt a few more I haven’t recognised. Beardsley’s influence is something I like to follow so it’s the black-and-white work you see here. It’s particularly fascinating seeing Japanese artists playing with Beardsley motifs when so much of Beardsley’s early style was derived from Japanese prints; a rare example of cultural influence finding its way back home after a century or more.
There’s surprisingly little information about Toshiaki Kato on Anglophone websites but scans of his gorgeous paintings proliferate. This page is a good place to start but there’s plenty more at Pinterest and elsewhere.
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An appraisal of the state of poster design from almost a century ago by Charles Matlack Price. Lots of the names you’d expect from Europe and the United States—Steinlen, Mucha, Beardsley, Will Bradley, Maxfield Parrish, etc—plus a number of examples I hadn’t seen before. Also a surprising scarcity of Italians and Germans. Scroll down for a remarkably advanced dancer with a guitar by Will Bradley from 1895, a design that anticipates the flourishing of Cubism and abstracted graphics a few years later. Price’s book may be browsed here or downloaded here.
Continue reading “Posters: A Critical Study, 1913”