Dekorative Vorbilder


Richard Kühnel.

Some of the Art Nouveau plates from Dekorative Vorbilder, a series devoted to the decorative arts published in Germany from 1895 on. The interior design suggestion above has me wondering whether there’s ever been another period of design when it’s seemed quite natural (so to speak) to offer a giant insect and monstrous flowers as wall motifs. Something to bear in mind if anyone tries to argue that Art Nouveau wasn’t a radical form.


Georges de Feure.

These plates are all from a collection at the NYPL Digital Gallery where the samples available cover a range of styles from the ancient world to the 19th century. The collection there doesn’t seem complete, unfortunately, and much as I’d like to point to a complete set elsewhere that doesn’t seem possible for the time being. If anyone knows otherwise, please leave a comment.


Otto Prutscher.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Combinaisons Ornementales
Charles J Strong’s Book of Designs
Styles of Ornament
The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones

Combinaisons Ornementales


After writing about Charles J Strong’s Book of Designs a couple of days ago, it seems pertinent to point the way to a far more essential Art Nouveau design book which can also be found at the Internet Archive. Combinaisons Ornementales was a collaboration between Maurice Verneuil, George Auriol and Alphonse Mucha published in 1901, and comprises 60 plates of beautifully elegant designs (“multipliable to infinity with the aid of a mirror”) which range from Mucha’s abstractions to Verneuil’s flower motifs. The examples shown here are all by Mucha; I borrowed one of the flourishes and the peacock feather for the Dodgem Logic cover design earlier this year.


For a quick look at all the plates, the NYPL Digital Gallery has scans. Mucha produced another design book the following year, Documents Decoratifs, although I’ve yet to see an edition of that online.


Previously on { feuilleton }
Charles J Strong’s Book of Designs
Mucha’s Zodiac
Dodgem Logic #4



The Modern Poster by Will Bradley (1895).

A selection from the NYPL Digital Gallery. There’s more by the great Will Bradley (1868–1962) here.


Abstract design based on peacock feathers by Maurice Verneuil (1900?).


Pavo; Lophophorus (1834–1837).

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Rene Beauclair
Elizabetes Iela 10b, Riga
The Maison Lavirotte
Whistler’s Peacock Room
Beardsley’s Salomé