La Villa d'Este by George Barbier
Hand-coloured, plate-signed pochoir from the illustrated almanac, Falbalas & Fanfreluches, 1923
French illustrator George Barbier (1882-1932) debuted in 1911 and was swept to fame in illustration, fashion, and set design, as well as contributing to jewelry, wallpaper, and glasswork.
This pochoir is set at the renowned Villa d'Este, a 16th-century villa in Tivoli, near Rome, famous for its terraced hillside, Italian Renaissance garden and especially for its profusion of fountains commissioned by Cardinal Ippolito d'Este (1509–1572).
Evening washes over the balustraded balcony casting a mysterious and romantic twilight on the fashionable lady, while her paramour virtually sinks into the shadows with self-effacing adoration. The courtly, formalized show of love for Milady is offset by the New Way forward with the dropped waist and dramatic geometry of her evening wear.
This famous illustrated almanac series was produced in Paris from 1922 to 1926 only. A luxury edition, it depicted high society life in Paris, the fashion, social and artistic capital of 'les années vingts', the Roaring Twenties.
Each issue contained a small diary and notation section, an introduction by one of the leading social/cultural doyens of the day, a decorative cover and twelve fashion plates (one for each month of the year,) hand-coloured via stencil and watercolour/gouache.
Further Ref.: "Art Deco Costumes By George Barbier" (Introduction by Madeleine Ginsburg, Curator, V&A Museum, London)
Approx. Image Size: h. 6.25in X w. 4.125in; h. 15.9cm X w. 10.5cm; Overall h. 9.75in X w. 6.375in; h. 24.8cm X w. 16.2cm
THE ART OF POCHOIR BOOK: "The effect is arresting: paging through the leaves of a pochoir-illustrated book, the reader is abruptly stopped by the extraordinary effects of lush, vibrant colors and bold geometric shapes. Bright oils and watercolors seem to come alive on the page in an almost three-dimensional experience. These volumes, with their focus on patterns and color interactions, use a stenciling technique to present decorative arts and the possibilities of book printing.
In fact, pochoir is the French word for stenciling, a form of coloring pictures that dates to a thousand years ago in China. It was introduced to commercial publishing in France in the late 1800s, and there it had its most exquisite expression. The pochoir process would use from 20 to 250 different stencils applied to a black-and-white collotype print from a photograph. The collotypes are affixed to stencil sheets of metal or board, and the patches to be colored are cut out. Each color to be applied uses a separate pompon, or brush of coarse, shortly-cropped animal hair, to sponge or dab on the paint. Each stencil is done in turn until the image is finished, so it is essential to place the stencils exactly in position."
Please contact me if you would like any further information about this beautiful pochoir.
The pochoir is in excellent condition.
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