Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Borrowed Book: Art Nouveau Floral Ornament in Colour - part 2

1st post of the year! :D

Review of:
Art Nouveau Floral Ornament in Colour by Verneuil, M. P. and Fry, C. R.
Publisher: Dover Publications

Bearing in mind this book is a book of patterns and ornament illustrations I will be reviewing it physical make up as well as what it has inside. 

To view snippets of the book go look at the post under this one or here is the direct link.

This book is quite well put together and not at all a weighty thick thing to carry around - always a good thing

I'm very used to pattern books and have found recent such books are overtly simplistic in their layout, in that a full page contains one pattern, but here the layout is imaginative and well planned. 
Firstly there is a thick white border around each page, this isn't new nor is it revolutionary but all pattern books should have this - it helps when comparing things against a neutral ground - makes the pattern clearer, hence the art world and its white cube way of displaying art work.
Then, there are often at least 3 to 6 panels of varying sizes on each side of each page. These panels are in all sorts of shapes and have a nice thin border between each of them - again giving room for the images to breath. This works well up until I get to the pages with 6 images on them, then I felt the patterns were cluttered and that there were far too many. This applies to page/plate 5 amongst others. Each side of a page had patterns on it.
Some panels on a page weren't given enough white space to help separate areas, perhaps a slight error on the authors part? Referencing plate 25 (above plate) here.

The paper itself is impressive, it has very little signs of ageing, with just the edges of the paper browning - most likely where the glossy like finish doesn't cover.
The paper is a good 90-100gsm I think and the book itself was made in mind for people tracing over the images with a sheet of paper on top, however it would be difficult to do so under a light box to get a clearer image  - this is where the blank page, image, black page image, kind of thing comes in handy. I'm sure they would have had light-boxes commonly around in the 1970s, for certain they had glass windows. Around which this book would have been created.       

The book has the signature mark of the early days of Dover Publications, detailing that the publications have taken as many measures as possible to ensure the book would age without discolouration of the pages and fading of colour and so on.
It sticks true to what it says which is refreshing. 

The colour palette for the entire book is constant, in that it sticks to a certain kind of range of colours that are a bit dull but still in places bring out individual parts and pieces of ornamentation. This style of colouring is a reminder of the Art Nouveau period, accurate kinds of colour palettes and some more information about this period can be found at a blog post at colourlovers/colorlovers 

To buy a copy of this book I would recommend you try your local bookshop first, or maybe check out your local library.

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