Thursday, August 27, 2009

Georges Barbier

I remember the first time I stumbled upon this image, I was so in love with her that I created an inspiration folder just to keep her on my desktop...that was about 4 years ago, before I had entered design or art.
I have always been a collector, and she was the beginning of a quest to figure out her origin. Today I discovered it. This is the cover illustration for the second edition of a french novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, written by Pierre Ambroise Francois Choderlos de Laclos. The original epistolary novel was written back in 1782, just before the French Revolution. Although he was an army general throughout Louis XIV's campaigns, this novel has been likened to those of the Marquis de Sade due to the main characters' use of sex as a vehicle for humiliation.
Almost 125 years after Choderlos de Laclos's bones were thrown into the sea by the Italians who had reclaimed the concurred land from the French Revolution, Les Liaisons Dangereuses was republished with illustrations by Georges Barbier, giving Choderlos de Laclos the posthumous fame he had always desired.
Georges Barbier's illustrated everything from play and poster illustrations, to haute couture design. I found a little autobiography here and here. His depiction of the woman was very iconic to the 1920's, with thin androgynous bodies and beautiful details. His work just screams art deco to me, and I love it.

You can see how work like this inspired artists such as Tomer Hanuka whom I also love.

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