Monday, December 18, 2017

Jane Atché

I'd like to introduce readers to a lovely female art nouveau artist named Jane Atché. She was a French poster artist whose style sometimes resembled Alphonse Mucha's. According to biographies of her life, at one time she even mentored under Mucha.

"Job" lithograph before lettering, circa 1896
I first came across this artist at a local museum exhibition on art nouveau. Imagine my surprise to see a female artist among the greats of art nouveau paintings and lithographs! For many years I had thought there weren't many art nouveau women artists at all (mainly because they were never mentioned in the books I read or pictures I saw) but now I know they did in fact exist. And they were just as talented as the male artists of the day.

Jane Atché was born in Toulouse, France around 1872. She excelled in art and at the age of 24 debuted her poster for JOB cigarette papers at the Cirque de Reims (I think she may have been the only woman to create advertisements for JOB at the time as well). Among the other artists in the exhibition were Mucha and Toulouse-Lautrec. From that point on she would exhibit her own engravings, lithographs and paintings at various galleries.

Another version of the JOB lithograph.

In the early 1900's she worked in the field of publishing. She contributed to a journal for little girls called "La Poupée Modèle". Atché's illustrations also wound up on postcards, sheet music and advertisements as well.

"Portrait de femme symboliste"

Cover illustration for Jugend magazine

She signed her paintings by combining the letters "J" and "A" in her name which made for a unique signature.

"Mistletoe and Holly" (above), decorative panels, 1899. Source: Gallica.

Atché mainly focused on producing images with women as the focal point. You can see the influence of Mucha in her works as the lines are often very delicate and yet, defining and strong.

Self-portrait with hat, 1909.

Above three images from this literary collection.

sheet music, found from pinterest.
sheet music illustration

Most of the information I found was through an online translation of this article in French, which really covers a lot! (and if there are any errors in this info - it is because I do not know French, sadly)

Atché passed away in 1937 in Paris, France, leaving behind a legacy of beautiful and feminine artworks which are now being rediscovered. There are still local museums that carry her work in France and a quick online search will uncover which ones do. :) Overall I am so happy that Atché pursued art and made a successful career back then. In general, we do not hear about women artists in Art Nouveau. It is refreshing and amazing when we do.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Just found your site and am so happy to see that others have the same fondness for Art Nouveau that I do! Will be reading regularly...


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