Le Passage Des Morts Nouveaux

Le Passage Des Morts Nouveaux

Art Nouveau, or more accurately the style of Alphonse Mucha is somewhat of a staple among t-shirt graphics. The level of detail and sophistication required to pull it off these designs means that only those with a decent level of technical ability will try. The result is that among all the t-shirt design tropes and cliches Art Nouveau has the strongest consistency for quality images. The question then is: of all the designs available why single this one out?There are two main reasons to highlight this design over the other Mucha imitators.

The first reason is what this image gets right, namely: the subtle use of outlines to highlight the figure and the gothic church inspired framing. Mucha’s work was often informed by the limitations of the printing technology of his day. The bold outlines that became a hallmark of his style were to compensate for the lack of shading that could be achieved via reproduction/ commercial use. The cutaways, reminiscent of gothic windows served as a counterbalance to the organic vine or floral elements within the work. Both the cutaways and the outlines have been faithfully reproduced within the work as has Mucha’s propensity for draping women in swaths of fabric as a nod to Hellenistic sculpture/ antiquity.

The second reason to highlight this composition is the way in which it subverts Mucha’s style. While Mucha may have limited his pallet with the printers in mind, this design is even more spartan than that any design Mucha ever undertook thereby heightening the effect of a limited pallet. The cutaway the artist uses for the background is classic Mucha, however the way in which he tangle the grim reapers robes outside the boundaries of this cutaway is not something Mucha would ever have done. In portraying death the artist has chosen to suggest that it exists as something beyond what faith can hope to grasp or manage.

Most Art Nouveau designs merely borrow the motifs. This design is significant in that the composition subtly challenges religion in the context of art history.

Design by: Moutchy
Price:  $20.00 @ Threadless
Colors: Dark Grey