Part I: Manuel Orazi

Emmanuel Joseph Raphael Orazi, also known as Manuel Orazi, was an Art Nouveau illustrator and poster artist. He was born in Rome in 1860 and died in Paris in 1934. Orazi was trained at the famed Italian printing house of Ricordi. By 1900, Orazi took inspiration from previous art movements including Vienna Secessionism, and Symbolism. With this inspiration and his love for the flowing, abundant, and organic look of natural elements, he created his own unique style of Art Nouveau. Art Nouveau was an art movement that flourished between about 1890 and 1910. Orazi moved to Paris and became a huge success by participating in the second exhibition at Siegfried Bing’s gallery L’Art Nouveau. This gallery gave young artists a platform to show and sell their work in Paris.

Orazi was most known for his two-dimensional poster prints; however, he took part in many other projects throughout his career. He illustrated many novels and jewelry designs and even created the set, costumes, and posters for the silent film L’ Atlantide in 1921. Other designers should know about Manuel Orazi, because of his ability to successfully apply his illustrative art style to various projects. His set and costume design work for L’Atlantide was a unique way to transform his usual Art Nouveau illustrations into something completely different – a performance. Although this film was based on a book and not directly from Orazi’s mind, he was still able to make his illustrations come to life through this story. L’Atlantide takes place in 1911 when two French officers get lost in the Sahara Desert and discover Atlantis, ruled by the queen Antinéa. In the film, the queen looks as if she stepped right out of Orazi’s illustrations. When she is first introduced, she wears a headpiece and is wrapped in extravagant fabrics. She sits on a bed-like piece of furniture that is heavily adorned with details and is surrounded by many ornamental objects within the room. This film is a wonderful way to see the Art Nouveau style really come to life. Interestingly, the prominence of Art Nouveau was dwindling during this time due to the First World War. The Art Deco movement was on its rise in the early 1920s, so Orazi was taking a creative risk by contributing his Art Nouveau Style for the creation of this film.

Many of the costume designs for L’Atlantide were influenced by the Orientalism movement, which is also very apparent in most of his advertisement posters. Orientalism often blurred the line between fantasy and reality. The feminine figures seen in his work are usually adorned in an abundance of jewelry, which captured this essence of fantasy and elegance. The use of feminine figures gave his posters a seductive element. His illustrations were basically luring potential customers to buy the products accompanied by beautiful women. This was effective for most of his advertisement works. Orazi’s work also consisted of soft, earth tones. All of the elements seen throughout Orazi’s work were commonly seen in other artists’ works that have an Art Nouveau style.



Manuel Orazi. DBpedia. (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2022, from

Manuel Orazi’s L’Atlantide, part II costumes. LiveJournal. (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2022, from

Feyder, J. (n.d.). L’Atlantide [Lost Atlantis] (Jacques Feyder … – youtube. Retrieved April 6, 2022, from