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1912 Olympics Poster


Art Nouveau Style
Official Olympics Poster for the 1912 Games in Stockholm.

Official Olympics Poster for the 1912 Games in Stockholm.

The 1912 Olympics in Stockholm were the first to have an official poster. In later years, there would be numerous posters for each of the games but this was the first and only for 1912. Designing official posters to promote the games is a big deal these days.

Olle Hjortzberg (1872-1959), a Swedish artist created the poster design. The athletes were a nod to the classic Greek style (the "Games of Antiquity") but had to be covered up slightly with the flags and ribbons for these modern games due to some concerns over the nudity.

The style of this poster is known as art nouveau. The curving, flowing lines of the flags of the participating nations is typical of the art nouveau style. Other common features of this style that can be seen in the 1912 poster are its asymmetry, strong lines, muted colors, and beautification of ordinary objects (in this case, turning individual flags into swirling, flower-like art).

Learn More About:

  • The 1st Official Olympic Poster
    "One of the most important measures taken in connection with the work of advertising, was the adoption of an official Poster. "

  • The Artist, Gustaf Olof Olle (known as Olle) Hjortzberg
    "He trained at the Swedish Royal Academy of Fine Arts, of which he was later elected a member. He painted portraits and landscapes, as well as his characteristic flower paintings, in both watercolour and oil.  He designed bookbindings, playing cards, book illustrations and bookplates, certificates and posters, including the artwork for the Nobel Prize diploma for literature in 1912, 1913, and 1928-30, and the poster for the Stockholm Olympic Games in 1912."

  • Art Nouveau in Art | Art Nouveau in Architecture
    "During the late 1800s, many European artists, graphic designers, and architects rebelled against formal, classical approaches to design. They believed that the greatest beauty could be found in nature."

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