Georges DE FEURE (Paris 1868 - Paris 1943)
Aux Courses: Design for the Cover of Les Modes
Gouache, over a pencil underdrawing, on pale grey paper.
Signed de Feure in red chalk at the lower right.
Inscribed Les Modes / No99 [crossed out] 21 on the verso.
286 x 220 mm. (11 1/4 x 8 5/8 in.) [image]
379 x 270 mm. (14 7/8 x 10 5/8 in.) [sheet]
Depicting an elegant woman at a racecourse, the present sheet is Georges de Feure’s design for the September 1902 cover of Les Modes, a high-end glossy Parisian journal, and is characteristic of magazine covers at the turn of the century. The central figure is elegantly dressed in fashion typical of the Art Nouveau style. As photography became more prominent, illustrators were given more freedom to creatively embody the idealized Art Nouveau forms and lifestyle on magazine covers, while photographs of couturier designs were included throughout the publications. This particular cover, entitled 'Aux Courses' ('At the Races'), builds anticipation of the Fall season; the opening editorial of the issue exclaims: ‘Les châteaux se repeuplent et la chasse est le grand sport du jour. Les grandes ouvertures se succedent les unes aux autres avec de trés brilliants résultats.’
Georges de Feure was known to be a habitué of the racecourses at Longchamp and Chantilly. A close stylistic comparison may be made with another gouache drawing of a woman at a race meeting of the same year, in a private collection.
Les Modes, September 1902, reproduced on the cover.