Art Nouveau, also known as Jugendstil, was an artistic movement that emerged in Europe in the late 19th century, around the 1890s. It was inspired by a desire to break away from the academic and historicist styles that dominated art and design at the time and to create a new, modern aesthetic that reflected the changing world and the spirit of the age. Major influences on the Art Nouveau movement were the growing interest in Eastern art and design, including “exotica”, curvilinear forms and decorative motifs drawn from nature, and advances in technology. Playing cards provide many elegant and refined examples of this style, with intricate designs, bold patterns, and vibrant colours.
‘Jeu de Cartes 1900’ designed by Marie Christine Schira in the Art Nouveau or Jugendstil style, 1979.
Fully illustrated pack featuring a large selection of Mucha’s works.
Elegant gold-printed playing cards in Jugendstil style designed by Otto Benz for Renault, 1987
The factory probably only produced playing cards for a few years in the 1920's
Playing Cards printed by Ceska Graficka Unie AS, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1890-1925.
Olle Hjortzberg (1872-1959) designed these playing cards for Granbergs AB in c.1924 in ‘Art Nouveau’ style.
Henri Meunier was a Belgian Art Nouveau lithographer, etcher, illustrator, bookbinder and poster designer of the Belle Époque. His first introduction to art was in his father's workshop; then he completed his art studies at the Academy d'Ixelles.
Quénioux believed that aesthetic feelings are the highest values: “C’est précisément cet amour de l’artisan pour le travail qu’il accomplit, la satisfaction intime qu’il en éprouve, qui ont donné naissance à tous les arts et qui ont fait dire que l’art est la joie dans le travail”.
‘Jugendstil Tarock’ was designed by Ditha Moser and first published by Albert Berger and Josef Glanz in 1906.
The cards are from a facsimile edition published by F. X. Schmid, Munich, in 1981. The artist is unknown, but the artwork follows the tradition of German playing card design and conveys a vivid sense of emotion, sensuality and vitality.