“Nénophar et sagitaire” [water lily and arrowhead], colour lithograph produced around 1900 by Georges Riom (1845-1969). Signed in the print at the bottom. Size: approx. 39 x 18 cm.
This beautiful petite poster features an elegantly asymmetrical composition typical of Art Nouveau. Nature was often the primary source of inspiration, filled with long-stemmed, gracefully stylized plants and flowers. The flowers were depicted in a style reminiscent of Japanese prints: two-dimensional and almost abstract, with a graceful composition and vibrant colors.
The renowned merchant Siegfried Bing played a pivotal role in the increase of Japanese influences in the Western art world. The prints imported by Bing found great appeal among artists searching for a new style, including Vincent van Gogh. Bing specialized in Japanese art at his Parisian gallery L’Art Nouveau, from which the movement derived its French name.
The water lily, with its floating leaves and enchanting flowers, was often depicted as a symbol of purity, beauty, and spiritual enlightenment. The delicate petals and harmonious arrangement of the leaves are beautifully portrayed with flowing lines and organic forms. The water lily served as an inspiring motif that evoked calmness and serenity. The inclusion of arrowhead, with its characteristic arrow-shaped leaves and spike-like flowers, adds a dynamic element. The white flowers provide a playful accent to the poster and convey a sense of vitality and natural splendor.