Dieselpunks.org | April 23, 2012
Today, I’d like to present a small collection of posters created by one of the most influential Polish artists during the Interbellum.
Stefan Norblin was born in 1892 in an artist’s family in Warsaw. His father, Piotr Norblin, was a well-known painter. Young Stefan studied art in Antwerp and Dresden. He opened his own atelier in early 1920s.
Norblin was a dazzling figure in the intellectual and artistic circles of Warsaw, his work in demand in Poland and across Europe. His style was Art Deco, his talent versatile. He was a painter, portraitist, illustrator, interior and architectural designer, worked in advertising, fashion and theatre costume. Norblin was capable of everything from the portraits of aristocracy to pulp fiction covers:
All of these talents would come into play again in India, where Norblin fused his Art Deco style with traditional Indian art. Norblin left Poland in 1939 for a commission to paint the royal family of Iraq. The war prevented any possibility of returning home, and in 1942 Maharaja Gaj Singh commissioned Norblin to design the interiors of his new palace, Umaid Bhawan, after the ship bringing interior designs from England was torpedoed in a German attack.
Umaid Bhawan by yadiyasin @ Flickr
He designed new furniture, painted murals and paintings in oils, including portraits of the family. Other commissions included designing interiors for palaces in Morbi and Patna, as well as portraits of the owners. His success led to an individual exhibition in the Sir Cowasji Jehangir Hall in Mumbai in 1944.
The war finally ended in Europe, but Poland was abandoned to a new regime of terror under the Soviet Union. In 1947, unwilling to return to a Communist-ruled Poland, Norblin and his wife, the popular Polish film actress, Lena Zelichowska, chose exile in the United States, settling in San Francisco.