japonisme: speaking of bookbinding....

15 February 2007

speaking of bookbinding....

Victor Émile Prouvé (1858-1943)

art nouveau, impressionism, jugensdstil... while the work from this time might continue to thrill, it does not shock. but it's informative to remember that it once did. victor prouvé was an artist of many talents. friends with fellow nancy resident gallé, prouvé painted the definitive painting of him.

drawing, dress design, printmaking and architecture were all among his talents.

but today we will look mainly at some of his efforts at bookbinding design. i don't know enough about bookbinding to understand the various elements, but perhaps one of our experts could enlighten me. prouvé is given credit for these bindings, but always someone else is also credited. i'm not clear on this division of labor.

for example, this binding of salammbo by flaubert is credited to prouvé, but my little section out of an old book, the flowering of art nouveau, also says that it was executed by rené wiener. i'll assume that that is like watanabe publishing yoshida's prints?

"it makes full use of the different ways of treating leather: inlay, engraving, gilding, and glazing. wiener adroitly uses the design of the veil of tanit to connect the boards with the spine. this salammbo is one of the earliest examples of a binding treated as a picture. instead of merely illustrating a theme from the story, the binding tries to present the essential spirit of flaubert's novel. orthodox craftsmen were critical of these pictorial bindings , which they considered to be a betrayal of the art of the book."

prouvé also designed bookbinding on two volumes of louis gonse's publication japanese art. for this project, prouvé worked with camille martin, whose bookbinding work we have seen before in a drawing for this cover for which its inspiration is clear when seen in a comparison with a particular print by utamaro.

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Blogger Diane Dehler said...

Hi Lotusgreen,
Thanks for all of the print resources. I am very intrigued by how your academic interest in Japonisme developed.

17 February, 2007 09:42  
Blogger Diane Dehler said...

BTW Did you see the Geisha collection and the ancient kimono that were displayed at the Asian Art Museum a few years ago? I found their beauty compelling and overwhelming; like spirits with outstretched arms. I suspect that these gorgous textiles wore the Geisha rather than the other way around. The embroidery, the designs, the prints. One can go on........... It captivates the imagination

17 February, 2007 09:50  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

oh you know... i missed that! (to tell the truth, i rarely leave berkeley!) but i was just reading the pdf file that the folks who organized that show, about the difference between geisha and courtesans.

bummed there are so few images from the exhibit that i could find online, so now i want to check the book out of the library.

i'm not totally sure, but was that first comment a question? in case it wasn't i'll just say that it doesn't feel 'academic' to me, but rather like fitting together the pieces of the puzzle.

17 February, 2007 18:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you find this gorgeous dress, Lotusgreen ? Even its name must be beautiful. It's weird to think of the constrast with the angular universe of his son Jean.

19 February, 2007 12:33  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

i found it here.

on google i found this: "Extrait : La robe « Bord de rivière au printemps » dessinée par Victor Prouvé et brodée par Courteix en fils de soie et d'or a été installée hier aux ..."

that's all there was! the link's bad and there's no cache of it either! i found a lot of bad links looking to learn more about the art nouveau exhibition they had there a few years back.

19 February, 2007 14:05  
Blogger Ana said...

This is just so wild and wonderful!

Ooh, more bookbinders - more things to love :D !

19 November, 2011 15:06  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thanks for stopping by, ana! aren't they amazing!

19 November, 2011 15:30  
Blogger Ana said...

They most certainly are!

20 November, 2011 03:45  

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