Kunst en Samenleving by G.W. Dijsselhof

kunst-en-samenleving-bookbinding-dijsselhof

Gerrit Willem Dijsselhof (1866-1924) formed together with Theo Nieuwenhuis en Adolph Lion Cachet the forefront of the Dutch Art Nouveau movement. Although Dijsselhof has designed only a few bookbindings, he was also in this area an example for the others. His most famous work is the book ornamentation for the Dutch translation of Walter Crane’s ‘The Claims of Decorative Art’, wich was published as ‘Kunst en Samenleving’ (Art and Society) in 1893.

Standard for a new Dutch book design
With this innovative work Dijsselhof set the standard for a new Dutch book design. One of his major innovations was that he expressed the materials and construction of the bookbinding in its design. He also reintroduced the woodcut in Dutch book art and made for each chapter a header and closing vignette. The motives for these small works of art are largely derived from the flora and fauna of the Dutch countryside and from Dutch folk art.

kunst-en-samenleving-endpapers-dijsselhof
For the endpapers Dijsselhof made a large woodcut of a flock of birds. The design is made with a mathematical design system.
kunst-en-samenleving-detail-bookbinding-dijsselhof
Golden lobsters represent the protective function of the bookbinding.
kunst-en-samenleving-back-cover-dijsselhof
On the back, against the spine of the book, the lobsters are less detailed.
kunst-en-samenleving-woodcut-dijsselhof-1
Woodcut with pelicans for the index page.
kunst-en-samenleving-woodcut-dijsselhof-2
Dijsselhof problably saw the example for these seahorses in Artis Zoo in Amsterdam.
kunst-en-samenleving-paperback-dijsselhof
For the cover of the sewn edition Dijsselhof made a woodcut of stylized leaves. The brown color on and against the spine of the book symbolizes the material of the woodblock. The white lines in between represent the binding threads that hold the book together.
kunst-en-samenleving-woodcut-dijsselhof-3
Headpiece with 2 roosters
kunst-en-samenleving-woodcut-dijsselhof-4
Headpiece with beetles and flowers
kunst-en-samenleving-woodcut-dijsselhof-5
Headpeace with 4 sturgeons

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s