Visual ideas

SEGUY (Émile Allain) Bouquets et frondaisons. 60 motifs en couleur.

Paris, Ch. Massin & Cie., éditeurs, New York, Brentano’s, (circa 1925).

Folio, loose as issued in publisher’s grey cloth-backed portfolio with ties, title and large pochoir illustration on first side. (4) pp.

20 vibrant pochoir-coloured plates with exquisite patterns based on plants and leaves for use in textile and carpet design. Complete.

First Edition.

One of the great Art Deco portfolios and a great source of visual ideas for artists and designers, regarded as one of Séguy’s most handsome compendiums. Along with Grasset and Verneuil, Séguy pioneered the decorative application of floral motifs, and his works are among the most sumptuous of the period.

One of the great Art Deco portfolios and a great source of visual ideas for artists and designers, regarded as one of Séguy’s most handsome compendiums. Along with Grasset and Verneuil, Émile-Allain Séguy (1877-1951) pioneered the decorative application of floral motifs, and his works are among the most sumptuous of the period. The artist studied at the School of Decorative Arts in Paris. In 1898, he exhibited his first works at the Salon des Artistes Français: leather objects and designer bindings, and in 1900 he won two silver medals for his creations. From 1902, he was the first to use lacquer to decorate furniture, a fashion that flourished in the 1920s. He created designs for wallpaper and textile, shapes for ceramics, furniture, models for industry. He worked for the Printemps department stores for ten years and was artistic director of the window displays. In all, Séguy produced eleven albums of illustrations and designs, most of them with floral patterns but he also used butterflies and insects to great effect.

“Seguy’s albums were created using a unique printing process called pochoir, which was popular in France at the turn of the 20th century. Pochoir is a process that utilizes the method of applying pigment to paper through the use of stencils. First, the artist created an image in watercolour or gouache. The design was then analysed to determine the necessary colours and number of stencils needed. The stencils could be cut from any number of materials, including copper, zinc, oiled cardboard, or celluloid. The paint was applied through the stencils by brushes or pompons. The prints were produced entirely by hand assembly line style, and each one was individually examined and approved upon completion. While simple in concept, pochoir could become quite complex in practice, with some images requiring the use of one hundred or so stencils to produce a single print. The technique was regularly used to produce plates in French fashion journals as well as being used to illustrate industrial design, textile, interiors, and architecture folios. Pochoir is thought to be a reaction to what was seen as a general debasement of machine printing technology during the time period. Jean Saudé, the individual who most influenced the pochoir technique, believed that pochoir was the only process which translated the artist’s original intent because it was entirely done by hand. Saudé considered the process to be a type of hyphen between the artist and the public. After viewing the original pochoir prints of Seguy’s work, it is easy to see exactly what Saudé was referring to. Pochoir allows for characteristics such as defined surface elevation through the use of thick paint, visible brush strokes, texture, gradation and transparent colours. When one views an original pochoir print, especially one designed by an artist of Seguy’s talent, it feels as if you are holding an original one of a kind painting in your hand. The print has a certain texture and surface quality akin to original gouache and watercolour paintings that is hard to find in other reproduction methods. Pochoir’s popularity lasted only through the 1930s. The characteristics that made pochoir prints so magnificent were also the medium’s eventual downfall. The pochoir process was expensive and quite labour intensive and was soon replaced by techniques such as lithography and serigraphy” (Miami University Libraries).

Beautiful copy and very rare in this condition.

Ref. Not Francis M. Lamond & Stéphane-Jacques Addade, Portefeuilles modernes Art déco

Price: 3.500,00 euros

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