George Auriol (1863–1938) was closely involved as an artist and editor with Montmartre’s most artistic nightclub, Le Chat Noir.
He contributed to the club’s famous and innovative shadow theatre, which inspired many a fin-de-siècle printmaker, and designed the decorative covers for its eponymous magazine and the sheet music of the artistes who performed there.
After Auriol left Le Chat Noir in 1892, he threw himself into colour lithography, becoming one of the most sought-after illustrators of decorative book covers, magazines and sheet music.
With his striking use of typography and monograms, he developed an art form that was highly personal and expressive.
In so doing, he frequently enhanced the work of other artists, including the artist’s book Les trente-six vues de la tour Eiffel by his teacher Henri Rivière.
Auriol’s illustrations and graphic designs incorporate numerous forms drawn from nature and are heavily influenced by Japanese art.
Many artists and critics saw a parallels between the decorative character of his work and the emerging Art nouveau movement.
The comparison annoyed Auriol intensely, however, as he criticised and mocked the new style.
Armond Fields, George Auriol, Layton 1895
Arsène Alexandre, ‘George Auriol’, Art et décoration, p. 161-180
George Auriol, Roger Marx, Le Premier Livre des cachets, marques et monogrammes dessinés par Georges Auriol, Paris 1901