1925. A set of four original costume drawings in pen, ink, and gouache for a 1925 Opera Gaston production. Each is signed "George Barbier" and three are also dated "1925." The four exquisite illustrations depict two women and two men in period 19th century costumes. The two women are dressed in gorgeous full gowns. One is in a white ball gown with a multicolored floral design. The other woman is in a daytime costume, with a dark blue full-length shawl and a charming bonnet. The two men are dressed in corresponding attire - one in evening dress and one in a long fur trimmed coat wearing a top hat. Each of the illustrations has handwritten notes on their backs, primarily in pencil, that seem to refer to characters and stage information. Each is numbered with Barbier's name and their numbers - 4, 13, 17, and 20. The drawings are in near fine condition with the slightest aging to paper borders. They are on sheets of paper measuring 8.5 x 10.26 inches. The figures are about 8.5 inches high.The French artist George Barbier (1882-1932) was one of the most sophisticated and prolific illustrators and designers of his era. His Art Deco creations using the techniques of pochoir printing were both modern and classic, highly stylized, and extremely colorful. He became extremely popular after his first exhibition at the age of twenty-nine, and was widely sought after to design theater and ballet costumes, illustrate books, and most notably to produce haute couture fashion illustrations. He was somewhat forgotten after his early death at age fifty, but there has been strong renewed interest in his work in recent years. This began with an exhibition at the Fortuny Museum in Venice in 2008, "George Barbier: The Birth of Art Deco," which was the first posthumous exhibition of his work. ORIG/080516.
Refine search resultsSkip to search results
. An original drawing by Aubrey Beardsley. Beardsley (1872-1898) is the best known illustrator from the British 1890s. He lived a tragically short time, dying of tuberculosis at the age of 25. This lovely major work, the epitome of Beardsley’s style of art nouveau, is for the spine of the binding cases of Sir Thomas Malory, Le morte Darthur, published by J. M. Dent, 1893-94, Beardsley’s first important commission. The book's title (spelled incorrectly as “La Morte Darthur”), author, publisher, and date are included in the design, which is in fact drawn on four separate pieces of paper that have been adhered together. Malory's Le Morte Darthur, published by Dent has been described as incomparable. The same can be said of Aubrey Beardsley's beautiful and remarkable designs (a term he preferred to "illustrations"). Beardsley was only 20 years old when Dent commissioned him to do all of the designs for this work. It was a leap of faith by Dent in taking a chance on an unproven artist. The illustrations were done during 1892-1894 for the initial issue in parts, beginning in June 1893. The design is done in ink on paper with pencil under-drawing showing the change from the initial position of the leaves, on four separate pieces of paper, the title and top border inset above the ornamental panel ; 27 x 6.7 cm. Framed. In fine condition. Provenance: J. M. Dent. Exhibited: “Burne-Jones, The Pre-Raphaelites, and their Century,” Peter Nahum, London, 1989, 165 (listed in catalogue vol. I, p. 166-167, reproduced. vol. 2, pl. 124); “Beautiful Decadence,” Japan, 1998, 7 (reproduced in catalogue). Literature: Ian Fletcher, Aubrey Beardsley, 1987, p. 128-129; A. E. Gallatin, Aubrey Beardsley: Catalogue and Bibliography, 1945, p. 33; Mark Samuels Lasner, A Selective Checklist of the Published Work of Aubrey Beardsley, 1995. ORIG/011116.
No Binding. A delightful ink drawing by English illustrator, Phil May (1864 - 1903), who made regular contributions to many periodicals, including the Sydney Bulletin, St. Stephens Review, Daily Graphics, and Punch. He also published his own annuals from 1892 - 1905 and supplemented these with additional larger albums. Examples of his work can be found at the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum. May, a short man of slight build, has drawn himself in a wonderfully comic manner, as is typical of his self-portraits. He depicts himself as being enormously fat and smoking a cigar following a meal. The drawing is inscribed by May and reads: “Menu. Savoy Omlette, Cold Beef (plat de jour), Spring Onions (off), Cabbage (pickled)” and is titled “What a Feed I’ve Had.” It is also signed by the artist, “Fill May.” The drawing has been mounted on a piece of archival board and matted. The bottom right corner of the paper is missing; to make this less evident; the board behind the drawing has been watercolored in light blue to match the color of the paper. There are a few light spots of foxing to the paper. Ink drawing measures 7 x 5 inches. The mat measures 19 x 12.5 inches. ART/050609. Very good.