Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving artworks

Hope you're all having a lovely day and for those in the United States, a very great Thanksgiving holiday! Why not post some artworks that are in the art nouveau style that celebrate the holiday? ;)

Thanksgiving Art Nouveau images:

Cover for Harper's Bazar (Harper's Bazaar), 1894 by Louis Rhead.

Cover for Harper's Bazar by Charles Louis Hinton, 1896.

Cover for Puck Magazine, 1905 by Carl Hassman.

Turkey statue at the art nouveau "Turkey Cafe" in Leicester, England. Photo via wikicommons.

Advertisement for Chap Book literary magazine by Will H. Bradley, 1895.

A beautiful turkey design, author unknown.

Harper's Bazar cover, 1889, possibly by Eugène Grasset (but am not 100% sure)

Cover for Life magazine, 1900.

Harper’s Bazar illustration by Will H. Bradley, 1895.

Vintage Thanksgiving card

That's about all the images I could find for now...have a great holiday!

Friday, October 6, 2017

How to Decorate with the Art Nouveau Style

One of the things that has made me curious over the years is, "How do you decorate your living space in the art nouveau style?" And, "How do you do it if you can't afford the real thing?"

An original art nouveau interior in Sweden, 1905.

Not much reproduction art nouveau furniture has been made over the past few years, if any really. This I think is due to either cost and/or demand. Even though Mucha's art and lithographs of the art nouveau style are entering the public's awareness more and more, and people are becoming aware of the style, the mass "demand" for art nouveau style furniture just hasn't happened yet.

In my opinion, a lot of people still don't know what Art Nouveau is completely in its entirety but there has been a change in how many people are educated about it. More people than ever, I've noticed, are informed about the art nouveau style which is awesome. I think that with products at bookstores and the introduction of popular characters in the art nouveau style (like on t-shirts), more people have become exposed to the style.

What reproductions of the AN style there are though, are very limited. There are reproduction Tiffany lamps (from lillies to stained glass shades) which are not too hard to find, and reproduction mirrors, trinket boxes and photo frames also exist as well. If you search you can find Mackintosh style reproduction items but outside of those few things it can be very, very hard to find AN style pieces.

What you can do, outside of owning the real thing, is use Art Nouveau as decorating inspiration with the colors, patterns and art typical of that time period.

Note the themes of birds, flowers, a repeating border pattern on the wall, wood elements and the muted colors. (Image by O.Taris at wikicommons)

My personal advice is to pick some of your favorite Art Nouveau artworks and see what you like about them. Is is the colors, the curves, the plants? What stands out? And let that inspire and guide you.


When it comes to the Art Nouveau style there wasn't a lot of extremely bright or vivid/neon colors. Colors tended to be earthy, muted and usually in pale shades.

Take for instance, this art nouveau picture. If you pull the colors from it you will see the "earthy" colors:

There are purples and blues but they usually have gray mixed in with them. Not all artworks use colors like these, such as artist Leonetto Cappiello's, but quite a few do. Golden yellows, leafy greens, browns and rosey shades of pink all remind me of Art Nouveau. Pulling colors from AN artworks you like is a good first step in my opinion to getting the look you want. It doesn't mean you necessarily have to paint all of your walls harvest gold, but you can use those colors for accessories, household items or even create your own color palettes.

Wall Art

The next best thing, especially if you're on a budget, is to cover your walls in pretty art. Art prints aren't too expensive and you can frame them or hang them on your walls. You can print out your favorite pieces yourself or buy them online at art websites. Since original artworks of art nouveau from the 1890's-1910's are usually public domain, you can print them at your local print shop in any size you like. Hanging up prints is a good option, if you can't paint the walls or if you are trying to save. Plus prints can be admired by visitors and are good conversation starters.

Pattern by Rene Beauclair
Pattern by Rene Beauclair
A clipart picture from a Dover book on Art Nouveau design.
You can use images like these as a repeating stencil design.


Another option you have is to check out Art Nouveau patterns. No doubt a lot of AN style comes from intricate patterns, whiplash curves and winding botanicals. If you want to get crafty, you can take art nouveau pictures or clip art books, like the Dover vector series, and create stencils with the designs. You can stencil designs onto walls, furniture, fabric and more. This is a good way to get the look of Art Nouveau without having to pay for reproduction designs and you can choose the colors you want to use.

Lastly, check online websites like Craigslist or selling apps on your phone to look for AN style furniture pieces. Sometimes you may find pieces at a local thrift shop/charity shop or antique mall for a good deal. There may be real antiques from the art nouveau time period put up for sale so it may be worth your time to check it out. 

What are some things you've tried to get the Art Nouveau look in your home? Let me know below and any other suggestions you may have. Thanks!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Emmanuel "Manuel" Orazi

I thought it would be interesting to feature the art of Emmanuel Orazi, an Italian graphic artist, who created posters, jewelry designs, illustrations and movie set designs.


Emmanuel "Manuel" Orazi was born in Italy in 1860 and worked in Paris creating graphic art. There's not a lot of information on the internet (that I've found so far) but there are some bits of info I have gleaned...

In 1892 Orazi moved to Paris and established himself as an artist working in the Art Nouveau style. He created newspaper illustrations, advertisements and book illustrations.

Advertisement for Job cigarette papers by Orazi.
Book illustration for "The wonderful adventures of Huon of Bordeaux"

"Ophelia" illustration by Orazi

A few years later in 1896, Orazi was commissioned to create an advertisement for the gallery Maison de l’Art Nouveau (House of New Art) in Paris. This gallery (started by Samuel Bing) showcased a collection of modern artworks. Artists were invited to display their pieces in the "new style" of art nouveau. This launched him into being recognized at the time.

One of Orazi's most interesting projects was in 1895 when he created an occult-themed calendar, the "Calendrier Magique," (which was a spoof of religious calendars of the time). He collaborated with author, Austin De Croz, and only 777 editions were produced. The double-paged calendar was intended to be a parody exploring 1895 as "the year of magic." The illustrations are eerie, dark, campy and with a flair for the unusual.

"Black Mass", 1903 illustration for satire magazine, "L'Assiette au beurre," depicting literary figures, Lord Alfred Douglas, Oscar Wilde, Maurice Maeterlinck and Marcel Proust.

"La belle sans nom" (The pretty girl without a name). Painting by Manuel Orazi illustrating a literary work by Jean Rameau. From Figaro Illustré, 1900.

From what I have gathered, Orazi made illustrations for French magazines like Figaro Illustré and the satirical newspaper, "L’Assiette au beurre" (The Butter Plate). He also did the art for several written works like "Les Fleurs du mal" by Baudelaire; "Aventures merveilleuses de Huon de Bordeaux" (The wonderful adventures of Huon of Bordeaux) by Gaston Paris; and "Aphrodite" by Pierre Louis.

La Maison Moderne advertisement (1902)

Orazi, in addition to being a talented poster artist, also designed hair combs. In his poster for La Maison Moderne (1902) you can see the unique hair comb design.

These images (above) from a 1902 book show designs of haircombs and hatpins/hairpins that Orazi (sometimes credited as "Orazzi") created.

Later in life Orazi was in charge of making set designs and costume designs for the 1921 French-Belgian silent film, "L'Atlantide". In addition to painting and designing sets, Orazi also designed posters promoting the movie (which can be seen above).

Poster for "L'Hippodrome" at the boulevard de Clichy, Paris, France (c. 1900).

I first came across Orazi's work for "L'Hippodrome," which I thought was incredibly detailed. One of the things I noticed about Orazi's art was his unique style when painting jewelry or costumes.  His artwork tends to radiate a fantastical style and sometimes I see a bit of surrealism in his works too.

Orazi passed away in 1934 leaving behind many beautiful designs and artwork which we still enjoy today.

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