This is a collection of vintage Christmas illustrations from the Art Nouveau era, even though a couple are from just before that period, and one snuck into the art deco timeline.
Art Nouveau started in the 1890s, ended with the first World War, and was superseded by the Art Deco movement of the 1920s.
Even though the period only lasted 15 years, it was an essential bridge between neoclassicism and modernism. The art nouveau movement was a style of art, crafts, interiors and decorations that was very popular in Europe at the time. It was heavily influenced Art and Crafts movement popularised by William Morris.
Like the Arts & Crafts movement, it was heavily inspired by nature and natural forms such as the sinuous curves of plants, flowers and animals. An excellent example of this is the work art nouveau flowers by Maurice Verneuil and his animal patterns.
The Art Nouveau movement saw the explosion of graphic art, making it a popular and recognised form of art. The twisting organic lines of this graphic art were famous in magazines, posters, advertisements and book covers of the time. One of the most well-known is the advertising posters of Alphonse Mucha.
The Vintage Christmas Illustrations
All the following vintage Christmas illustrations are in the Public Domain and free to use and print. Just click on the title above the picture you want, and a higher-resolution image will open in a new window in your browser. You can then save or print this image.
Black and white winter landscape by Willem Wenckebach 1893; a Dutch painter, illustrator and graphic artist.
Another Willem Wenckebach illustration from the book “Notenkraker en Muizenkoning” (The Nutcracker and the Mouse King), 1898.
Art Nouveau Christmas magazine cover by Eugene Grasset, 1893. Grasset was a Swiss graphic artist considered one of Art Nouveau’s pioneers.
Theo van Hoytema Art Nouveau Calendar
Theo van Hoytema was a Dutch graphic designer known for his book covers and calendars, especially those depicting birds.
A pair of winter robins.
1904 December calendar page with snowy owl, Theo van Hoytema
Gazette du Bon Ton
Gazette du Bon Ton was an influential French fashion magazine published from 1912-1929. From the end of the Art Nouveau movement to the beginning of the Art Deco movement.
The images in the magazine were printed using Pochoir (colour stencilling), just like the Emile-Allain Séguy butterflies.
Children in their Christmas clothes with their uncle.
Cover page of the Christmas edition of the Canadian Grocer magazine.
Art Nouveau Christmas cards with pink flamingo art.
Check out the beautiful John Baur Scandinavian art prints created during the same era; many are winter scenes with a Christmas feel.
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