E A Séguy / Some of the most spectacular textile designs ever created were by French entomologist Eugéne Séguy. He specialized in Diptera, which are insects who use only a single pair of wings to fly, the hindwings being used for balancing only.
The intricate detailing of these insects creates a beautifully layered composition filled with graphic intrigue. The negative space is extremely important in this layout of assorted insects, creating just the right silhouette.
He became more recognized for his work in pattern and textile design than in entomology, producing eleven albums of illustrations and designs from the turn of the century to the 1930’s. These graphic beetles layered upon foliage create a compelling motif.
Working in both the Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles, Mr. Séguy used the pochoir technique, a printing process that uses a series of stencils to apply layers of vivid color to the surface resulting in spectacular color. The delicate white outlines of the insects’ wings contrast boldly against the intense blue and black hues.
The extraordinary layering of objects and incredible colorways, create movement and a depth that is seldom seen in another medium. His color palettes provide inspiration for our studio’s interiors projects and product designs and are exquisite art themselves..
These amazing designs are from “Insectes” part of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library part of the Yale University Library. Mr. Séguy worked with various motifs based on the natural world, including flowers, foliage, crystals and animals, his designs are just as beautiful today as when he first created them.