Folding fan painted on textile with tassel, Georges Barbier, 1911

1911, French costume textile accessorie (fan)

Georges Barbier, French, 1882-1932, illustrator, painter, water colourist, stage and costume designer.  Known for Art Deco.  

Books Illustrated: Poetry by Charles Baudelaire; R. Boylesve's The Baths at Baden; The Carriage with Two Green Lizards; Mirages by Baroness de Brimont; A. Flament's Characters in Comedy (Personnages de Comédie); The Romance of the Mummy (Le Roman de la Momie) by T. Gautier (Mornay, pub. 1929); Guérin's Prose Poems (Poèmes en Prose); P. Loüys's Songs of Bilitis (Les Chansons de Bilitis), Dances by Nijinsky (Danses de Nijinsky) by F. de Miomandre; Alfred de Musset's You Don't Play with Love (On ne Badine pas avec l'Amour); H. de Régnier's The Double Mistress (La Double Maîtresse); Rostand's Casanova; Schwob's Imaginary Lives (Vies Imaginaires); Stelov's Anna Pavlova; the Album Dedicated to Tamara Karsavina (Album Dédié à Tamara Karsaviva) and Paul Verlaine's Fêtes Galantes. Other works he illustrated include: The Song of Songs; Makeda, Queen of Sheba; Le Bonheur du Jour ou les Graces à la Mode and Fashions and Manners of Today.

Illustration by Barbier

An Example of a Book Illustration by Georges Barbier

Barbier is known for his Art Deco style, a style of arts in US and Europe in the 1920s-1930s, so this fan predates the widespread adoption of this style. Probably the fan responds to the popularity of the Ballet Russes.  Note that Barbier illustrated several books related to Russian ballet.

The fan is paint on textile, depicting a scene of music and dance on a blue background. The ribs of the fan appear to be red polka-dotted lacqueur wood.  The tassle is multicoloured cream and gray (possibly faded), possibly silk.  The scene on the fan blends classical antiquity with modern interior design.  Turquoise and black tile floor meets blue wallpaper or starry sky, with a golden tree with three grey doves or other birds.  The dancers have colorfull headpieces, scantily clad, with drapery flowing to the right of the fan, the central figure's drapery echoes the red and golden polka dot pattern of the base ribs on the handle. On the left, a kneeling, feminine satyr is blowing on pan pipes.

Alison Booth & Natalie Roxburgh

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