Monday, 9 January 2012

Eugene Grasset - Librairie Romantique

When I was at college I had posters on my flat wall. This was my favourite and until recently we also had a small version of it on the kitchen wall.

 It was designed in 1887 by Eugene Grasset (1845 –1917), a Swiss decorative artist who worked in Paris in a variety of creative design fields during the Belle Époque. Grasset is considered a pioneer in Art Nouveau design.

Eugène Samuel Grasset was born in Lausanne around 1841. He was raised in an artistic environment as the son of a cabinet designer/maker and sculptor. He studied drawing and architecture and after completing his education in Zurich he visited Egypt, an experience that would later be reflected in a number of his poster designs. He became an admirer of Japanese art which also influenced some of his creative designs.

Between 1869 and 1870, Grasset worked as a painter and sculptor in Lausanne but moved to Paris in 1871 where he designed furniture fabrics and tapestries as well as ceramics and jewellery. His fine art decorative pieces were crafted from ivory, gold and other precious materials in unique combinations and his creations are considered a cornerstone of Art Nouveau motifs and patterns.

In 1877 Eugène Grasset turned to graphic design, producing income-generating products such as postcards and eventually postage stamps for both France and Switzerland.

However, it was poster art that quickly became his forté. Some of his works became part of the Maîtres de l'Affiche including his lithograph, "Jeanne d'Arc Sarah Bernhardt."

In 1890, he designed the "Semeuse who spreads seeds of dandelion" logo used by the dictionary publishers, Éditions Larousse.

With the growing popularity of French posters in the United States, Grasset was soon contacted by several American companies. In the 1880s, he did his first American commission and more success led to his cover design for the 1892 Christmas issue of Harper's Magazine. Grasset's work for U.S. institutions helped pave the way for Art Nouveau to dominate American art.


  1. They are all beautiful! Yellow being my favourite colour, I especially like the Madrid one.

  2. Thank you for reminding me of these. I used to have a book full of them. I wonder where it went.

  3. I love these posters. I have something similar framed in my living room. Now, I will have to put them on my blog so you can see them!

  4. I hadn't heard of him before. The posters are all gorgeous, I need to read up on the artist.

  5. Hello Clive, I've just ran into your blog and joined it. Love this artist in particular; he inspires me every day! Thanks for posting all these pictures and informations about him.

  6. Great post...Thank you for sharing Monsieur " old writer" .
    Thank you also to the " textile Blog " post today, I rediscovered Grasset 's work. Grasset 's Bday today May25, 1845 (167 years)


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