Barbier is best known for his fashion illustrations in "Gazette du bon ton," "Journal des dames," and other French publications of the Art Deco period. Less well known are his decorative arts such as this fan, the design of which was published in the "Journal des dames" in 1912 and credited to the Parisian couturière Mme Paquin “after G. Barbier.” Although this example is signed by Barbier and dated 1914, it probably was made as a work-for-hire commission. Its decoration suggests as much the modern stage sets and costumes of the Ballets Russes as anything from classical antiquity, its putative subject.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: Signed and dated (obverse, at right edge): G. Barbier/ 1914
Mrs. William Randolph Hearst, New York (until 1963; her gift to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Century of Design, Part I: 1900–1925," December 14, 1999–March 26, 2000, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of French Art Deco," August 4, 2009–January 23, 2011, no catalogue.
L'Éventail et la fourrure chez Paquin: Dessins de Paul Iribe, George Barbier, Georges LePape. Paris, November 12, 1911, (design illustrated).
Journal des dames et des modes no. 21 (December 20, 1912), p. 42 (design illustrated).
Edith A. Standen. "Instruments for Agitating the Air." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 23 (March 1965), pp. 256–57.
Barbara Martorelli, ed. George Barbier: The Birth of Art Deco. Exh. cat., Museo Fortuny. Venice, 2008, p. 151 (design illustrated).
Jared Goss. French Art Deco. New York, 2014, pp. 29–31, 252, no. 2, ill. (color, overall and detail).