The Twins by William Bradley

Mellby, Julie. “The Twins.” Princeton University, The Trustees of Princeton University, 3 Oct. 2011.


The name William H. Bradley is now synonymous with American Art Nouveau. It was through his work on advertizing posters for the magazine The Chap Book that Bradley refined his style, and made his name known.

In order to advertise his magazine The Chap Book, Herbert Stuart Stone commissioned Bradley to produce posters for him. Created in May 1984, The Twins was the first of this seven poster series (Mellby). It was produced using a method called colored zincography, whose technique is similar to that of lithography (The Twins).  The major difference between these methods is the use of zinc plates instead of limestone plates, since the use of limestone plates could get very expensive (Zincography).

The Twins was considered to be one of the first American Art Nouveau posters, as Bradley used many principles of this style (Will H. Bradley, Publishers). This poster featured flat patterns, strong outlines and “dynamic curvilinear configurations (Wong). He also experimented with color and exaggerated many of his lines and figures (Knight). Inspired by Japanese wood-block prints, Bradley’s use of flat patterns and asymmetry was his attempt to combine Japanese art with modern poster design, as these two concepts are the basic principles behind Japanese art (Knight) (Wong).

The Twins, along with William Bradley’s other works, have been noted to show the influence of Aubrey Beardsley (Will H. Bradley, Publishers). This can be seen in the combination of curves and flatness, areas of light and dark (Will H. Bradley, Publishers), as well the use of bold blacks and intricate ornamentation (Wong).

It was The Chap Book poster series, notably The Twins, that brought William Bradley fame. Other famous posters from this series include The Blue Lady and The Poet and His Lady (Will H. Bradley, Smithsonian).


Knight, Melinda. “Little Magazines and the Emergence of Modernism in the” Fin de Siècle”.” American Periodicals 6 (1996): 29-45.

Mellby, Julie. “Will H. Bradley – Graphic Arts.” Princeton University, The Trustees of Princeton University, 3 Oct. 2011,

“The Twins.” Prints and Drawings, The Art Institute of Chicago,

“Will H. Bradley: Early Master of Graphic Design.” Publishers’ Bindings Online, Univeristy of Alabama, 2005,

“Will H. Bradley.” Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum,

Wong, Roberta. “Will Bradley and the Poster.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 30, no. 6, 1972, pp. 294–299. JSTOR,

“Zincography.” Van Gogh Museum, Van Gogh Museum,