Ianthe – Liberty, Art Nouveau and the Sixties

One of my favourite Liberty print designs in Ianthe. Here it is:

Ianthe at Very Berry Fabrics


I’ve always loved the Art Nouveau style. When I was a student, I remember always looking for ring binders and notebooks with classic Liberty or Sanderson prints on the cover – at least I had something nice to look at in my Greek classes! Later on, when Sandy and I were free from kids and living in London, we had many a happy trip to Brussels on Eurostar, and loved searching out the best Art Nouveau interiors (especially the ones in bars!), and visiting the Victor Horta museum.

Ianthe was originally created by the prolific French designer René Beauclair in around 1900. You can see more of his work online here at the rather brilliant New York Public Library Digital Gallery – his designs are out of copyright now, and you can see them all over the place in pattern books and (whisper it) appearing in the work of today’s designers.

I assumed that Beauclair had designed Ianthe directly for Liberty, but it seems not (perhaps it didn’t work like that in those days). It was not used by them until 1967 – the time of one of the big Art Nouveau revivals. So what looks like a classic traditional print actually has a bit of swinging sixties edge to it!

I’ve included Ianthe in my latest Limited Edition pack from Very Berry Fabrics

Ten 5 inch Liberty Lawn squares - Love Hearts

It’s a mini-patchwork pack of just ten 5″ squares of pinks and pale blues, that I think work together really well. They’ll be available until 8pm tomorrow at just £2.50 with free postage…


4 thoughts on “Ianthe – Liberty, Art Nouveau and the Sixties

  1. I do love the elegance of Art Nouveau, especially as we’re rather spoilt surrounded by Rennie Mackintosh things, but alas, so not ‘me’!

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