Monday, September 29, 2014

Modern Print Monday: Marcel Vertès

Sketch for a print from the collection of the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I've been discussing the modernistic idea of
the brushstroke for its own sake. Few textile designers worked in
more painterly fashion than Marcel Vertès.

Marcel Vertès (1895–1961),
photo by Carl Van Vechten,
Marquette University Archive

Restored Vertès murals in the Carlyle Cafe
in New York City

Vertès, born in Hungary, was one of many expatriate
Parisians during World War I and into the mid-20th-century.

Inspired by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec
he drew and painted the nightlife of the city.

Vertès's illustrations became the image
of Elsa Schiaparelli's perfumes.

Vertès spent about a decade in the U.S. 
during and after the second World War, adapting 
his style to high-fashion fabric.

Claudette Colbert in a Vertès print, about

Vertès, Vegetable Girl,
a scarf for Wesley Simpson

Wesley Simpson ad for Vertès scarves.
Note how the scarf was worn.

Vertès designs were a hit at the recent London
exhibit Artist Textiles Picasso to Warhol at
the Fashion and Textile Museum.

Vogue fashion illustration, set by Vertès.

He won academy awards for art direction
and costumes for the 1952 film Moulin Rouge,
a biography of Toulouse-Lautrec.

See more Vertès designs at the Metropolitan Museum of
Art's website:

Read about the restoration of the Hotel Carlyle murals here:


  1. Thanks for this post! I found the scarf from the advertisement (upper right corner) years ago at a thrift store, but never knew anything about it. Now I do!

  2. Since I started writing this blog I have found some artist designed scarves in my box of thrift store scarves too. It's fun to know the source.