Inside: A free printable collection of art nouveau postcards by the artist Gisbert Combaz
These vibrant postcards are a great example of a modern form of Art Nouveau. The artist, Gisbert Combaz, uses a bright colour palette. And mixes Japanese influences with traditional Art Nouveau elements, such as natural forms.
Like Maurice Pillard Verneuil, his work includes the flowing curves of plants and flowers. Through asymmetry and whiplash lines, the Art Nouveau postcards have a dynamic look with a sense of motion.
Distinctive elements of Combaz’s style are influenced by calligraphy and Japanese woodblock prints. Flat shapes characterise his designs. They are then drawn in a cloisonne style of patterned images such as birds, figures, land and seascapes, which are then enclosed by a thick dark line.
Who Was Gisbert Combaz
Gisbert Combaz (1869-1941) was a Belgian painter, lithographer, illustrator, and art teacher. He first trained and worked as a lawyer but decided to change his career to an artist and art educator.
He was based in Belgium, at the centre of the new liberal art Nouveau moment of the time. Combaz studied his art at Royale Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and subsequently taught at the Institute Agricole in Gembloux to fund his artwork. Towards the end of his career, he published several books on oriental art.
The Art Nouveau Postcards
The original prints are from the collection at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and are postcard size, 8.9 cm (3.5″) by 14cm (5.5″), Chromolithograph printed on card stock. Unusual for postcard design, there is a small blank box for the address on the front.
These prints are slightly smaller than what’s typically shared on the site. For larger Art Nouveau pictures, check out the Alphonse Mucha advertisement posters.
Combaz was well known for his exhibition poster designs and his amazing postcard collections. This collection is from early in his artistic career, 1898.
They are very vibrant and colourful postcards. The designs are of ocean scenes and natural elements. Each postcard is centred around one of the four elements, air, earth, fire and water.
- Earth represented solid things
- Water represented liquid things
- Fire represented things that destroy
- Wind represented things that moved
How To Print The Postcards
All the Gisbert Combaz postcards are in the Public Domain. That means they are copyright free. You can print and use them how you wish.
To print the postcard you want, click on the title above the card. A higher resolution image will open in a new window on your browser. Click on the image to print it or save it.
The envelope cover for the 12 Combaz postcards, entitled “Les Elements”.
Combaz has used swirls and swishes with this postcard design to get the sense of movement of the seagull soaring above the ocean waves.
Another bird in motion, this one looks like a swift or swallow.
A cow silhouetted against the sun. Unlike the air element ones, no sign of movement in this postcard.
A colourful representation of the wheat harvest.
The third Earth element postcard with mushroom drawings.
Swishes and swirls are used to show movement in the dancing flames surrounding the lizard.
Cauldron on the fire.
A colourful and graphic illustration of an active volcano. A great symbol of fire and destruction.
Combaz’s graphic illustration of a wave and a moonlit night sky.
Seashell in the water.
Third water element Art Nouveau illustration of fish in water.
The art nouveau movement was proceeded by the arts and crafts movement. A great example of work in the arts and crafts movement is the designs and patterns of William Morris. Another big influence on the nature aspect of art nouveau was the work of Ernst Haeckel and his nature form prints.
Don’t forget to check out these fabulous art nouveau flowers prints.
I think the vibrant colours and swirly graphic designs of these vintage postcards make them suitable for many decoupage crafts. You could use them to make pretty DIY tile coasters or decoupaged placemats.
If you fancy, you can Buy Me A Coffee Here.