George Barbier (illustrator)

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Illustration by George Barbier, published in the Gazette du Bon Ton

George Barbier (French: [ʒɔʁʒ baʁbje]), né Georges Augustin Barbier, (1882–1932) was one of the great French illustrators of the early 20th century.


Born in Nantes, France on 16 October 1882, Barbier was 29 years old when he mounted his first exhibition in 1911 and was subsequently swept to the forefront of his profession with commissions to design theatre and ballet costumes, to illustrate books, and to produce haute couture fashion illustrations.

For the next 20 years Barbier led a group from the Ecole des Beaux Arts who were nicknamed by Vogue "The Knights of the Bracelet"—a tribute to their fashionable and flamboyant mannerisms and style of dress. Included in this élite circle were Bernard Boutet de Monvel and Pierre Brissaud (both of whom were Barbier's first cousins), Paul Iribe, Georges Lepape, and Charles Martin.

During his career Barbier also turned his hand to jewellery, glass and wallpaper design, as well as writing essays and many articles for the prestigious Gazette du Bon Ton. In the mid-1920s he worked with Erté to design sets and costumes for the Folies Bergère, and in 1929 he wrote the introduction for Erté's acclaimed exhibition and achieved mainstream popularity through his regular appearances in L'Illustration magazine.

Barbier died in 1932 at the very pinnacle of his success. He is buried in Cemetery Miséricorde, Nantes.[1]

Untitled pochoir by George Barbier from the 1922 edition of The Songs of Bilitis, edited by Pierre Corrard


  1. ^ "Georges Augustin Barbier (1882-1932) - Find A..." Retrieved 2 September 2018.

Further reading[edit]

Publications by Barbier[edit]

  • Georges Lepape, Paul Iribe, and George Barbier. L'éventail Et La Fourrure Chez Paquin. (Paris: Maquet, 1911). OCLC 221452848
  • René Kieffer, ed. Dessins de George Barbier, 1920. OCLC 729836377
  • George Barbier. Falbalas et Fanfreluches Pour 1925. (Paris: Meynial, 1925). OCLC 356369658
    • Madeleine Ginsburg, ed. Art Deco Costumes (London: Bracken Books, 1988). Reproduces the complete plates from the almanacs Falbalas et fanfreluches, by George Barbier, Meynial, Paris, 1922-1926. OCLC 977998844

Secondary Sources[edit]

  • Edmond Jaloux. George Barbier, Vingt-Cinq Costumes Pour Le Théâtre. (Paris: C. Bloch & J. Meynial, 1927). OCLC 80414481
  • Jean-Louis Vaudoyer, Henri Régnier, and Charles Martin. George Barbier. (Paris: Henry Babou, 1929). OCLC 490507007
  • Frederica T. Harlow, ed. The illustrations of George Barbier: in full color (New York: Dover Publications, 1977). OCLC 418268441
  • Kris Somerville. George Barbier: The Knight of the Bracelet. (Columbia, Mo: College of Arts & Science of the University of Missouri—Columbia, 2006). ISBN 9781879758490
  • Barbara Martorelli. Pictures of Elegance. (Twickenham, Middlesex: Guineapiguana Publications, 2008). OCLC 808601025
  • Barbier Fashion: Postcards. (Mineola, N.Y.: Dover, 2011). ISBN 9780486480169
  • Hiroshi Unno. Joruju Barubie: Yūbi to Gensō No Irasutorētā [George Barbier : Master of Art Deco : Fashion, Illustration and Graphic Design] (Tōkyō: Pai Intānashonaru, 2011). ISBN 4756241441 OCLC 778842064

Exhibition Catalogs[edit]

  • Catalogue of an Exhibition of Watercolours by Artists of the Gazette Du Bon Ton. (London: Fine Art Society, 1914). OCLC 221452871 Exhibition at the Fine Art Society in London, June 1914.
  • Le bon ton: 1910-1950: Mode, Theater und Gesellschaft: Originalzeichnumngen von Léon Bakst, George Barbier, Christian Bérard, Eduardo García Benito, Paul Iribe, Georges Lepape, Francis Marshall, and André-Edouard Marty. (München: Galerie Bartsch & Chariau, 1990). OCLC 1008212213 Catalogue of an exhibition held at Galerie Bartsch & Chariau, München, 5 Oct. 1990 - 31 Jan. 1991.
  • Barbara Martorelli. George Barbier: La Nascita Del Déco. (Venezia: Marsilio, 2008). ISBN 9788831795913. Catalog of an exhibition held at the Museo Fortuny, Venice, Italy, Aug. 30, 2008-Jan. 5, 2009.
    • Barbara Martorelli. George Barbier: The Birth of Art Déco (New York: Rizzoli, 2009). ISBN 978-88-317-9646-0 English translation.
  • Jean E. Laboureur, Shigeru Kashima, and Hiroko Ono. Barubie X Raburūru: Āru Deko, Shikisai to Senbyō No Irasutorēshon (Tōkyō : Kyūryūdō, 2012). ISBN 9784763012159. Catalog of an exhibition held at Nerima Kuritsu Bijutsukan, Tokyo, April 8-June 3, 2012.
  • Arthur M. Smith. 'Chevalier Du Bracelet': George Barbier and His Illustrated Works (Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto Library, 2013). OCLC 1008256297 ISBN 0772760942, 9780772760944. Catalogue of an exhibition held at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Toronto, Ontario from 30 September - 20 December 2013.

External links[edit]