Passage Arts

20th Century Decorative Arts

Georges Barbier

Georges Barbier was one of the most important french illustrators of the beginning of the 20th century.

At the age of 29 he had his first exhibition in 1911, and obtained constantly commissions to design theatre and ballet costumes and for haute couture fashion illustrations.
The next 20 years he gave lead to a group of young artist from the Ecole des Beaux Arts who were, by Vogue nicknamed "The Knights of the Bracelet", as for their extravagant, fashionable and flamboyant style of dress. Amongst this group we find names as Bernard Boutet de Monvel, Pierre Brissaud, Paul Iribe, Georges Lepape and Charles Martin.
In collaboration with Erté, he designed costumes, and also sets for the Folies Bergères, the Casino de Paris, and most of all for the Ballet Russes, for which he also designed the sets.
One of his specialisms was the technique of the Pochoir Print, in which a stecil was used that allowed the artist to hand colour using water colour or gouache.
In these prints he designed a series of the Ballet Russes, depicting scenes with Vaslav Nijinsky and Tamara Karsavina in 1913-1914.
This technique was particularly applied in the early first half of the 20th century en was for instance used by the painter Kees van Dongen.

Items by Georges Barbier

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