Vintage | E.A. Seguy
Zoological Beauty + A Mysterious Painter
A few weeks ago we posted about John James Audubon and as fans of both vintage and botanical prints we thought it would be neat to follow up with a piece on the lesser known E.A. Séguy, a Parisian painter and entomologist whose work is made all the more interesting as he is somewhat shrouded in mystery. Details on the painters life and work and cloudy at best, with deliberation even on his name and date of birth/death, which happens to be relatively recent at sometime in the 1980's. Regardless, he is best known for a series of work he produced in the 1920's 'Papillons' and 'Insectes' - from which we gathered the shown works for this post.
The following is excerpted from "Butterflies and Insects" in Botanicals (Assouline, April 2008), introduction by Leslie K. Overstreet, curator of natural-history rare books at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.
"...if a picture is worth a thousand words, botanical and zoological illustrations reveal a natural world of diversity and beauty almost beyond verbal description.
Rather than classify species, the illustrator E. A. Seguy sought to celebrate selected exotic creatures in which he found artistic inspiration. Imaginatively employing floral and zoological motifs, Seguy's early designs are wonderful examples of the art nouveau style, which swept through Europe in the decades around the turn of the century.
The abstract, geometric patterns and intense colors of Seguy's prints were produced with the pochoir technique, in which intricately cut stencils for handcoloring were overlaid on (in his case) a printed photogravure image. This was a popular technique for producing illustrations in books and periodicals, especially fashion magazines, in the early decades of the 20th century, most notably in Paris."
RESEARCH & PHOTO COMPILATION by Emily Blackman, PGM Assisstant Web Editor