Papillons, Plate 7

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Artist Statement


Designer E.A. Séguy's book Papillons was commissioned by the American textile manufacturer F. Schumacher and Co. They wanted the nature-loving designer to create renderings of butterflies that would then be made into wallpaper, textiles, and other interior or fashion designs. Séguy referred to scientific illustrations as he composed 81 butterflies within 16 plates, as well as four additional plates of decorative patterns inspired by butterfly wings. In Papillons, Plate 7, we see three butterflies: the Chrysiridia ripheus of Madagascar, the Urania leilus, native to Guyana, and the Panacea prola zaraja from Venezuela.

All of Séguy's creations were made using the pochoir technique. Based on an ancient method, pochoir—French for "stencil"—uses stencils for color application. Each color in a design has its own stencil; layers of gouache are applied through each stencil using a brush or sponge. The resulting colors are richly intense, making Papillons, Plate 7 a vivid print.



E.A. Séguy | See All Editions


Emile-Allain Séguy, professionally known as E.A. Séguy, was a French designer during the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements of the 1920s. He primarily created patterns and textiles inspired by the natural world. Because of his particular fascination with insects, he has been confused with Eugene Séguy, a French entomologist active during the same time period. However, it is Emile-Allain who created the popular Papillons and Insectes books, filled with illustrations of vividly colored butterflies and insects made using the pochoir—French for “stencil”—technique.


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