“The Art Nouveau Tradition in Europe,” Max Gallo, pages 303-304


“The style variously called liberty, art nouveau, and Jugendstil [literally translated as ‘youth style’] was a phenomenon that emerged across Europe.  it led to a substantial change in the relationship of words and images in posters, and except in France it dominated the culture of Europe for fifteen years, spanning the turn of the century.” p. 303

Artists who represent the style in England: William Morris (1834-96), Aubrey Beardsley (1872-98)

In Scotland: Margaret Macdonald (1865-1933), Frances Macdonald (1874-1921), Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928)

In France: Alphonse Marie Mucha (1860-1939)

Alphonse Marie Mucha

In Belgium: Jan De Velde (1863-1957)

In Austria: Gustave Klimt (1862-1918)

Gothic lettering had a massive effect on poster illustration at this point.

Gothic Lettering

William Morris was influenced by 15th century Flemish manuscript decorations

Agricultural workers in the manor fields, English c 1390s

In the beginning, Mucha designed his posters in the tradition of Cheret.

“The most inventive contributors to the Jugendstil were [Jan] Toorop and [Henry] van de Velde…In van de Velde’s very famous poster for Tropon (1899) the illustration is ambiguous and allusive, almost as abstract as a trademark, while the inscription is explicit.  The Jugendstil is a far cry from the realism of French posters at the end of the nineteenth  century.”


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