A paper I did for college in 2004
More of his works
A Short Biography and a Selection of His Works
Eugene Grasset was born in Lausanne, Switzerland on May 5, 1841 or May 5, 1845 (I’ve seen references to both). His father, Samuel Joseph, was a cabinetmaker and sculptor. As a very young man he discovered Gustave Doré, a world famous 19th century illustrator, through an illustrated book. In 1861 he entered the Polytechnicum of Zurich to follow courses of architecture. He attended a training course with Felix Wanner, architect-contractor, in Lausanne (1863-1865). At the age of 26 he moved to Paris, France where he worked in the food industry and then discovered Japanese art and the pioneer of photoengraving Charles Gillot. He then tried his hand at creating ceramics, tapestry, jewelry and illustrating books. Some of the books he illustrated are The Illuminated Book of Days, Le Petit Nab (1882), A Apple Pie, Balthasar d'Anatole France (1909), a Book of floral designs, and L'Histoire des quatre fils Aymon (1883). He also did furniture design. When he decided to become a graphic designer in 1877 he produced many types of designs including postcards and postage stamps. Eventually he focused mainly on posters and decorative panels. He did his first posters at the Festivals of Paris in 1895. In 1898 he drew a block typographical alphabet, Grasset, for the Peignot foundry. He also worked for Larousse editions, the French and Swiss post offices (postage stamps), the department stores La Belle Jardinière et Au Bon marché (catalogs, calendars), the French review, and Harper’s Magazine in the United States.
He has been linked with the center of the Art Nouveau movement in France. His images often depict women with long flowing hair and designs in the Art Nouveau style. It is said that his work in the poster field had an immediate and lasting impact upon art. He also created two posters in 1895 depicting Napoleon for Century Magazine. The posters are “The Sun of Austerlitz” and “Napoleon in Egypt”. They were meant to promote Professor Sloane's biographical, 'Life of Napoleon'. The biography was almost instantly forgotten but there were immediate effects from these two Grasset posters. These two posters caused an upsurge of popularity of Art Nouveau in the United States at this time.
Grasset influenced Alphonse Mucha and some of his pupils were Augusto Giacometti, Paul Berthon Otto Ernst, and Maurice Pillard Verneuil, who continued their work into the 20th century. Paul Berthon was greatly influenced by his teacher. Also Louis John Rhead from the U.S. traveled to France and studied under Grasset. He Died In Sceaux, France in 1917.
I chose Eugene Grasset because I had looked up about seven or eight individuals from the list and was not interested in any of them and then there he was. I enjoy looking at his work. To me his work is reminiscent of Maxfield Parrish who is one of my favorite artists of all time. I mention Maxfield Parrish on one of my web sites. I do believe that I am going to add Eugene Grasset to my web site! It was somewhat difficult to find information about him but I took up the challenge.
Class: Fundamentals of Graphic Design
September 23, 2004
More of Eugene Grasset's Works:
I wrote this paper; please do not use it and call it your own. You can refer to it, though, with proper citations.
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