A Life of Pleasure was the last play to be written and produced by Henry Pettitt. It debuted in September, 1893 and was transferred from Drury Lane to Princess's, which offered more room, and ran through February, 1894. The story tells of "a woman who succumbs to the lure of evil sensuality and falls victim to the machinations of a heartless upper-class, pleasure-loving seducer" (Fantasies of Empire, p. 199). One would not know from Pal's design that this striking lady becomes a fallen woman, but we appreciate Pal's decision to show her triumphant and independent.
Alas, no one seems to have found it consequential enough to record the melodramatic goings-on during the run of Mam'zelle Carabin at the Bouffes-Parisiens. It seems to have been an operatic evening filled with teary-eyed reconciliation, dastardly deeds, and a high-spirited international costume fête whose title translates—somewhat surprisingly, given the poster's vignettes—to Miss Medic. This is actually one of two posters Pal created for the play that were surely just what the doctor ordered. Rare!
A dramatic scene unfolds as Carmen sacrifices herself for her city of Santiago in this novel by Rodolphe Bringer. While the French journalist, newspaper editor, and writer of crime novels and children's books was quite prolific, no information exists on this particular endeavor—aside from Pal's visual relic.
This preliminary design by Pal would later become the canvas for several otherpromotions for the infamous music hall; the blank space at right would be used for details on specific performances. But without the additional text, it's a lovely scene of a lithe dancer caught mid-pirouette.
Condition: B / grommet holes in center area; unobtrusive folds.
To advertise a Folies-Bergère presentation based on an old fable, Pal produces one of his most impressive scenes in a fantasy setting. The fiery crimson is particularly awe-inspiring, not to mention sensual and seductive—all qualities which Pal evoked in almost all of his women.
Pal announces the inaugural issue of this liberal newspaper specializing in political and literary coverage with an image of an unfettered Marianne, holding an outsize writer’s quill—the weapon of choice of literati everywhere—that serves as the flag staff for the French tricolor.
For a woman so stately and a poster so much larger-than-life, one would think that this Louisa de Korr was quite an important lady—but, sadly, no information exists about her that we could find. In any case, it's a fantastic depiction by Pal. This is a two-sheet poster.
Condition: B / slight tears and stains, largely at seam.
Presented in a detailed Edwardian gown and silver hair, this otherwise youthful performer stands next to an upright piano. The contemporary critic Charles Hiatt noted that this poster “is of an elegance to which Paléologue does not often attain, and would be distinguished in almost any collection of posters” (p. 145).
Condition: B / slight tears and stains at folds and edges
We have not been able to discover the identity of the redheaded performer in Pal's full-length portrait, but she is most unlike the artist's usual flirts. In an odd mauve-blue costume, with a secret smile on her lips, she stands almost pensively, casting a fascinating shadow. This stock theatrical poster bears a great mystery—and lots of charm.