Le musée des Arts décoratifs on the rue de Rivoli in Paris is a must-see when I’m in Paris. They always have interesting exhibits, like the one about illustrator Eugène Grasset that’s on until March 24, 2013. The exhibit features about 15 works by Grasset that attempt to recreate the full scope of his technical ability.
Grasset, a native of Switzerland, studied architecture and then sculpture. He moved to Paris in 1871 where he worked as an illustrator of children’s books. With the success of his book projects, Grasset found lots of work designing all sorts of things: furniture, posters, façades of buildings, stained glass windows, mosaics, carpets, iron work, jewelry, calendars, and postage stamps, just to get started. His style was strongly influenced by art nouveau pioneer Gustave Doré. He juxtaposed the curving lines found in nature with strictly geometrical forms.
Today’s expression, donner un nouveau look à (dunay uhn noovoe look ah), means “to restyle” something. Grasset’s illustration were part of the new look that restyled the heaviness of past decades into something much lighter and fresher. Art nouveau is still a great look today.
Read more about him: Eugène Grasset, 1845 – 1917
- Art nouveau (onequalitythefinest.com)
- Style: Art Nouveau (vironevaeh.com)
- Bazar de luxe (onequalitythefinest.com)
i love this vintage look from great illustrators. Back in college we studied a little about Art Nouveau, but i think it has this charming appeal that some artist get inspirations today :)) I also love Cicely Mary Barker’s watercolor illustrations 🙂 they are quite smashing.
I don’t know that artist. I’ll have to check her out. Thanks for the tip!
Reblogged this on Henrietta Richer and commented:
I’m a big fan of this francophile blog by a Canadian, Patricia Gilbert, her articles often remind me that there is so much to see and visit in Paris, that I haven’t yet seen or visited. A perfect example of that is this post about the Art Nouveau illustrator E. Grasset, a great exhibition to put on my must see list.
Thanks for the kind comments!
I just adore art nouveau and though I’d seen his work I’d never heard Grasset’s name. Now that I know about his exhibit, it’s just another reason I need to be in Paris!
I’m afraid you’ve missed this particular exhibit, but going to Paris is still always a great idea.