Eugene Grasset

Eugene Grasset, Thistle from Plants and Their Application to OrnamentThe next series of vector reproductions is from Eugene Grasset’s Plants and Their Application to Ornament A Nineteenth-Century Design Primer which was published in 1897. Somewhat earlier than Christopher Dresser, Grasset was more of a contemporary of William Morris, Eugene Grasset was more famous in his time as a designer of French-style posters and magazine cover designs.

Plants and Their Application to Ornament begins with a study of one of the garden plants from which stylized design variations are generated. His designs are generally Art Nouveau or Art and Crafts style and quite archetypical of the period. Some are representational of how these designs would be applied as decoration to different media (wallpaper, fabric, tiles, stained glass, carved wood, metal,porcelain) or as decorative patterns, borders, and motifs. They betray his background as a decorative materials designer before turning to illustration.

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All of the original plates were reproduced by a pochoir (literally ‘stencil’) print process, which was a precursor of silk screen printing. The originals are very graphic and lend themselves to vector illustration. As such, they can be used in period reproduction or adapted for contemporary design elements.

Below is the first in an ambitious series. The collection will eventually grow to include design variations for 33 garden plants. View completed plates here.

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One Response to “Eugene Grasset”

  • webmistress Says:

    I meant to update this post years ago but forgot until just now. No one has ever commented that the thistle illustration and border are NOT Eugene Grasset, but E. A. Séguy. the last 3 images in the gallery are therefore also E. A. Séguy, I will completely overhaul this post once I get more (vector) examples completed.

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