Design for a Ceiling with Magnolias

Auguste Herbst (French, Strasbourg 1878–1951)

Pen and brown ink, brush and pink and rose wash, heightened with white and gold
17 11/16 x 15 3/8 in. (45 x 39 cm)
Drawings, Ornament & Architecture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Edward Pearce Casey Fund, 1986
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Auguste Herbst was a very versatile artist who is mainly known for his work in the firm of Emile Gallé (French, Nancy 1846–1904 Nancy). As one of his companions and chief designers, Herbst made designs for glass, ceramics and even marquetry, which were produced in Gallé’s workshops in Strasbourg and Nancy. After Gallé died in 1914, Herbst continued to design for the Gallé firm and numerous of his designs for glassware and ceramics are still kept in museum collections. This design for a room decorated with magnolias must have been one of his earlier works. While fitting in well with current developments in interior decoration, the room has a very distinct character. In his interior, Herbst combines a natural rendering of the magnolia tree, growing in an arch-shape around the door, and even throwing shadows on the pink background, with a more stylized pattern reminiscent of contemporary Arts & Crafts designs, seen in the pattern of the rose wall panels and across the ceiling.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: At lower right: "August Herbst 1898"

  • Exhibition History

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Living in Style. Five centuries of interior design from the collection of drawings and prints".

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History