For one of the white sales at La Place Clichy, Pal presents a lady in an impressively frilled housecoat as she inspects the newly purchased delicate linens as shown to her by her maid. It's quite the image of luxury.
Pal is not usually one to dress his women up in layers, but a fox stole and oversized hat are appropriate enough when selecting Christmas presents for the children at the Place Clichy department store.
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.
In your face! Mademoiselle de l'Affiche thrusts her brush into the nose of a stunned Pierrot in a grand assertion of artistic control. The poster announces that the artist, Léon Dardenne, will now be solely in charge of all posters produced by the Bulens printing firm. An audacious design for its time, and for ours as well.
Condition: B- / slight tears; restored loss at upper right corner
Though the scene presented here was also used in Gray's more famous promotion for Théâtre de l'Opéra (see PAI-LXXVIII, 301), this poster advertises a masked ball at the Alcazar. The café-concert later known as Alcazar d'Hiver thrived from 1858-1902 on the Rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière.
An Artist's Model was a two-act musical comedy written on the heels of the composer's much-heralded A Gaiety Girl from two years prior. Its plot focuses on a former nude model who, now a widowed millionairess, returns to the studio to pursue her lost artist love. He in turn only takes interest in her once she is engaged to an English nobleman. This is the smaller format version of the design.
"Squaawk! Polly wants her summer fashions!" Vincent's many posters for the Paris department store Au Bon Marché constitute a magnificent pageant of "where fashion sits, puttin' on the Ritz" during the Roaring '20s; this two-sheet poster is surely the most carnivalesque of them all.
Condition: B/ Slight stains and tears, largely at edges and seam.
Pictured in front of the Grand Palais, a young lady in ermine is chaperoned on a wintertime drive to the Automobile Club of France's 1904 exhibition, with her dog perched expectantly on the dashboard. While many promotions for the early auto industry feature the woman in the passenger seat – presumably a luxurious departure from the self-powered bicycle craze of the preceding decade – virtually all place a husband, or gentleman caller, in the driver's seat. This poster is highly unusual for designating the woman as independently wealthy, with a chauffeur rather than a husband at the wheel. It would be another few years before women were depicted as fully capable drivers in the Age of the Auto.
In operation from 1901 to 1947, Corre was a French automobile manufacturer known primarily by its logo "La Licorne"—The Unicorn. To increase sales in the early days of the company, they enlisted in racing competitions to notable success. The driver seen here is likely Joseph Collomb, who drove the C1 model throughout 20 years of racing for Corre and won first place at several competitions, including the 1908 Coupe de l'Anjou and the 1912 Tour de France Automobile.
Utrillo created this sweet, freely-drawn poster to promote an artists’ benefit at Magic-City, a popular dance hall two blocks East of the Eiffel Tower. While Utrillo was a prolific artist, he created very few posters, this being one of his most subdued and lovely.
This 2-sheet poster is a mind-blowing tribute to what a Bacchanalia the Students’ Ball of February 2, 1901, must have been. As an extravagantly attired female reveler positions herself beneath an ornate archway—unaware that the Devil is lurking beneath her skirt, or that one of his impish legions is carefully unlacing her outfit—a tag-team of rogues does their best to ply her with bubbly, one of them distracting her, while the other keeps her glass constantly filled to the rim. A magnificent nod to unbridled merriment, open to any number of lascivious interpretations.
A stunning lady in an exotic setting applies Bengaline paint to make the point that the product is used everywhere. Of course, even in the most remote lands, no one would be dressed in an opulent gown for house-painting, but seeing what it does for her allure, we'll gladly support the artist's license. Gaspar Camps was a Spanish graphic artist who was inspired by Mucha to the extent that he simply imitated him for a time; eventually he moved to Paris and produced posters with a Byzantine flavor.
Here is a prime example of Cappiello's trademark use of exaggerated proportions: a ravenous baker eagerly takes the first bite of a Union Biscuit, supposedly wishing that the treat will never see an end. Judges must have felt similarly; the biscuits won two medals at the most recent World's Fairs in Milan and Liège.
Sandreuter created this design for his closest mentor and friend, Arnold Böcklin, on the occasion of his anniversary exhibition at the Kunsthalle Basel. Both men were Swiss artists of the symbolist and fin de siècle movements—"... possessed of a certain fund of romantic lyricism, sometimes allying itself to that passion for the grotesque which is perhaps one of the distinctive characteristics of the German-Swiss mind" (The Studio, Vol. 23, p. 219). They met in Munich in 1873, and later worked in Florence and Paris together. Böcklin's influence on Sandreuter was so strong that critics accused Sandreuter of being a lifelong imitator of his mentor—but Böcklin didn't seem to mind, and even cared for his pupil when he fell ill with diabetes.
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!
The original Bal Bullier (see Chéret's version, PAI-XXII, 280)—also known as the Closerie des Lilas—was constructed by Bullier on the grounds of an old convent at the corner where the Blvd. Port-Royal crosses the Ave. de l'Observatoire. A new owner transformed the gardens, planting clumps of trees and lilacs and building a room inspired by the Moorish architecture of the Alhambra. Posters show it in operation at least through the winter of 1894-95. This enchanting image, however, is for the later Bullier-Nouveau. Whether "new" refers here to a simple renovation, yet another owner, or a change in address, the design is filled with movement and high spirits that make us want to join the fun.
"During his Czech period, Mucha did not involve himself in any commercial projects, but produced several posters for various good causes he believed in. This is a prime example of such work, a poster for the Czechoslovak YWCA... The main purpose of this new branch of the international YWCA was to build a home for unwed mothers and to promote the movement in the newly-founded country" (Lendl/Prague, p. 287). This is the small format version of the design.
World expositions were a popular way for European countries to show off their colonies and bring the exoticism of distant lands straight to the people. As part of French Indochina, Cambodia was a French protectorate from 1863-1953. The exhibition in Marseille was France's third colonial exhibition and attracted over 1,800,000 visitors. Here, a Cambodian dancer in traditional attire welcomes guests to their pavilion which resembles the temple of Angkor Wat—a Hindu temple complex that is the largest religious monument in the world.