The Art Deco fashion illustrator George Barbier

George Barbier (1882-1932) was a French fashion illustrator and painter. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts (like André Édouard Marty and Georges Lepape). He is the most famous Art Deco illustrator. He drew fashion illustrations for “La Gazette du Bon Ton”, “Journal des dames et des modes” and Harper’s Bazar. He published several books ; his masterpiece is “Falbalas et Fanfreluches”.  It is a series of pochoir print portfolios published from 1922 to 1926. His work was namely influenced by exotism and orientalism.

He is considered as the master of Art Déco. Art Déco (1920-1939) is an artistic movement emerging in reaction to the Art Nouveau. The name “Art Déco” comes from the Universal exhibition taking place in Paris, in 1925. The Art Déco style was applied to all types of art (architecture, jewelry, textiles, furniture, painting…). It was characterized by geometric shapes, bright colours , new materials (aluminium, plastics, lacquer…) and a taste for exoticism. I have a wonderful book about George Barbier, Hiroshi Unno, George Barbier: Master of Art Deco: Fashion, Illustration and Graphic Design, 2012.

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