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Paul Emile Berthon
Sarah Bernhard By Paul Berthon
Paul Emile Berthon - Art Nouveau Master
Paul Emile Berthon was a french artist that was born in 1872. He lived until 1909 and his art was mainlly lithographs and posters. The style he preferred is Art Nouveau. Berthon studied as a painter in Villefranche, and later moved on to Paris.
Paul Berthon's style was not unlike his contemporary, Alphonse Mucha. He was a student at Ecole Normale d'Enseignement de Dessin and received many of his lessons from Luc-Olivier Merson. To keen observers, one can notice how his study of the decorative arts influenced his later print making. One can notice the strong lines and natural detail that guides Berthon's art.
While many lithographs that turned out to be advertisements back in the day, Berthon's did not have advertisements as part of any of his artwork. His pieces stood alone. I appreciate that, because I have seen some very beautiful pieces of art in this kind of design that "scream" whatever the advertisement is. Those also are still very beautiful in my opinion, but I think I would like them even more without the advertising.
When studying art nouveau, it is impossible to ignore an artist like Paul Emile Berthon. His art has an elegance, a grace and beauty that is simply lovely. Many regard Berthon as a master of the turn of the century art nouveau movement and the more one sees his work, the reasons why are clear. The grace and elegance in this kind of art is almost mesmerizing, and and dreamy.
Influences on Paul Emile Berthon
Paul Berthon's greatest influence was from a Swissteacher named Eugene Grasset, who lived from 1841 to 1917. Grasset had a huge impact on the movement of Art Nouveau. Both Alphonse Mucha and Paul Berthon considered him their greatest teacher and influence.
The Style of Berthon's Art
Paul Berthon is one that you can observe change over time. For instance, the earlier lithographs that date up to 1896 show elements that are similar to Grasset's style. As Berthon developed his own style over time, we see the elements that make his art so famous, begin to take shape. Some things to look for from his earlier works compared to the later ones include the strong defined lines and patterns that emerge. Also, the more autumnal pastel color palette that helped to make him so popular.
Berthon enjoyed the study of Japanese woodcuts and you can see some of that influence come through in his beautiful work. There is some great attention paid to nature, especially flora and fauna, which almost automatically caused me to be an immediate fan. There is also some French influence there.
Paul Berthon has a collection of 94 original lithographs. The artist calls his works "Panneax Decoratifs." Many think they are beautiful works of art, that stand alone. I am in agreement. The classic and timeless elegance of these pieces are part of what make them so amazing.