Axel Nygaard

15.5.1877 – 10.2.1953

In the mid-1890s, after completing his apprenticeship, Axel Nygaard travelled as a journeyman painter for seven years. He was deeply fascinated by the Art Nouveau style, which he became acquainted with on his long journey, especially in Germany. Back in Copenhagen, he decided in 1902 to become a draughtsman. He produced a number of drawings and caricatures for several different weekly magazines. In 1906 Axel Nygaard was affiliated with Politiken. He also worked as a book illustrator. The emphasis in Axel Nygaard’s poster works is on social and humanitarian subjects, such as Save the Children, Child Welfare Day and the Red Cross. A satirical or even sneering expression can often be seen in the posters, although later, around 1913 it becomes milder, and the humour is more kindly. Another characteristic is the lettering, often close block capitals supplemented by a swung heading written with brush strokes.