Thursday, April 10, 2014

French Art Nouveau Brooch by Fouquet

Thursday, April 10, 2014
Loretta reports:

More jewelry, from the abundance of riches at at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts collection of Art Nouveau & Art Deco works.  (Previous VMFA posts here, here, and here.)

This brooch* is the work of Georges Fouquet (1862-1957), a Paris goldsmith who worked in both the Art Nouveau and the Art Deco styles.  For a time during his Art Nouveau period, he collaborated with Alphonse Mucha.

You can see a sample of the work from that period here at the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art.  Mucha also designed Fouquet’s new showroom in Paris.

Though this brooch is of a later date, it is still very much in the Art Nouveau tradition, and the woman’s face reminds me a bit of the model in the Mucha poster below.

If you’re curious about Fouquet’s Art Deco work (we didn’t have time to linger in the Art Deco collection, alas), here’s an example from the VMFA and here’s one from the Met.

If you could choose between Fouquet’s Art Nouveau and his Art Deco jewelry, which would you rather wear?

*Museum website description: Brooch, 1904, Georges Fouquet (French , 1862 - 1957), gold, enamel, opal, unidentified ivory colored stones, engraved glass, diamonds, pearls 3¾ x 7¾ in. 9.5 x 19.6 cm Gift of Sydney and Frances Lewis


Hels said...

Although I have examined every piece of Mucha that he ever created, I don't think I knew of Fouquet's work until the last couple of months. Then I had a quick scramble to stay ahead of the students :)

You note that Georges Fouquet was born in 1852, so by the time he started to collaborate with Mucha after 1898, Fouquet was a very mature artist. Assuming he died in c1929, Deco was doing well but Fouquet would have been very elderly indeed.

LorettaChase said...

Hels, the Fouquet dates are confusing, I agree. One site has him born in 1852, while the Met and VMFA use 1862. And I see I had both dates on the post, thanks to using so many sources. So I've updated to 1862, which might make a little more sense. Too, there's another Fouquet, born in 1899, but it's George who gets the credit for moving to the more modern style of Art Deco, elderly or not. Unfortunately, my jewelery books don't go past the mid-Victorian period, so I couldn't check them even if I had them at hand.

Unknown said...

I definitely prefer Fouquet's Art Nouveau.

Antique Cufflink Gallery said...

The perfect post for an early Spring afternoon! Thank you.

The three generations of Fouquets - Alphonse, Georges and Jean - are among my favorite jewelers in each of their periods. The wonderful boutique Mucha designed for Georges Fouquet in 1901 can be viewed at the Musee Carnavalet in Paris. It alone is worth a trip to Paris.

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