Monday, February 10, 2014

Modern Print Monday: Georges Barbier

La Roseraie de Bagatelle
Design by Georges Barbier
for Bianchini Ferier
About 1920

Georges Barbier 1882-1932

Barbier was a fashion illustrator in Paris in the first decades of the 20th century, an artist who defined his era.

Valerie Steele in the Berg Companion to Fashion notes that bestselling novelist Michael Arlen in his 1924 book The Green Hat used Barbier's style to convey a certain sophistication:

"She stood carelessly like the women in Georges Barbier's [illustrations] who know how to stand carelessly."

Barbier drew many textiles designs in his pochiors (silk screen illustrations.) Caroline McCall, costume
designer for Downton Abbey, says Lady Edith's new look was inspired by Barbier.

A few actual textiles attributed to him survive.

Venise fete de nuit 
By Georges Barbier 1921
Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum

This view of Venice on silk echoes the fantasy orientalism and vivid palette of the Ballets Russe, which fascinated Paris in the teens.

Barbier designed costumes for the theater, jewelry, wallpaper.

His costumes for the Valentino film Monsieur Beaucaire can
still be seen in the 1925 movie.

Dealer Meg Andrews has a rare piece of Barbier fabric,

a woven silk brocade from Bianchini Ferrier

with his characteristic figures standing carelessly.

A pair of painted fans survive:

Left: Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1914
Right: Collection of the Victoria and Albert, 1911

See the fans:

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