Thursday, 27 December 2012

Borrowed Book: Art Nouveau Floral Ornament in Colour - Part 1

Art Nouveau Floral Ornament in Colour by M. P. Verneuil and edited by Charles Rahn Fry

 


This book is quite old - the library even had it rebound at some point.
Only one or two of the image plates inside have a little wear and tear, like where someone had spilled blue paint or ink, but despite that the pages are in pretty good nick. The colours are fairly muted, natural I think and were printed this way in order to refer back to the Art Nouveau styling. This is a movement in art and design history that I know very little about. But this book is clearly key to getting to know little bits about the movement. 

The plates printed often draw upon natural imagery, plant life and vines and leaves and more, the shapes are beautifully curved and interlace with each other, and the style seems reminiscent of Celtic knots and even Islamic and Arabic tessellation and geometrics (some things I might look into at a later post).
The daffodil patterns below were particularly interesting to me, as they are a very common and yet beautiful flower, their long and graceful and dressed in such a bright yellow. You know that it's spring straight away when you see them, their like a key marker of Spring - a calender if you like, and the yellow and green daffodil pattern brings to life their essence - like very active creatures, because they rise early along with other early springing bulb plants. Though they come early, they also leave early. 
 
What I thought was brilliant in this book, aside from the beautiful patterns and abundance of originality within the patterns, were that in many of the pages objects were drawn out wearing the patterns, like the lamp in the first scanned image and like the beautiful comb below.
 
At the moment my work doesn't look into the Art Nouveau movement much, though I have been picking a few patterns apart - looking into certain shapes and forms and just having a play with drawing them.
 

Reference:
Verneuil, M. P. and Fry, C. R. (ed.) (1976) Art Nouveau Floral Ornament in Colour. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

 
The scans are not in high resolution and are saved/uploaded as .jpg to save space on my google photos account.