Emile-Allain (E.A.) Séguy was an artist and designer who worked in early 20th-century France, and one of the few to successfully combine both Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. He produced 11 albums of illustrations, most of them focusing on elements from the natural world, like flowers, foliage, animals, and insects. His patterns were intricate and colorful; he often consulted textbooks and scientific manuals to ensure that his images were both beautiful and scientifically accurate. Séguy described the illustrations in one of his best-known collections, Papillons, as “un monde somptueux de formes et de couleurs”—a world of sumptuous forms and colors.
Séguy’s prints were produced using a technique called pochoir, a labor-intensive and precise practice of layering stencils on top of one another to create depth and texture. Some of the more intricate images might require the use of 100 or more stencils for a single print. These prints were sold in pattern books so that others might use them as inspiration for textile or wallpaper designs. His portfolios exhibit flawless examples of ornamentation and composition.