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.
“Eight years after the poster for Golden Club cigarettes, this publicity for Celtique played around with the realistic rendering of the object and the monumental scale of the cigarette pack but, by tilting the package towards us, it’s an invitation to grab the offered cigarette that establishes the relationship between the advertisement and the passerby. The faux wood of the surface upon which the package is positioned adds to the familiar character of a cigarette that’s not associated with luxury but rather with the day-to-day” (Cassandre/BN, p. 100). This is the medium format, one-sheet version of the poster. *
In case it slipped your mind, here's a simple reminder—in the form of a poster within a poster—that picking up a bottle or two of Deutz & Geldermann champagne might not be a bad idea. In 1838, two businessmen from the German town of Aachen—Peter Geldermann and Wilhelm Deutz—came to the French city of Aÿ-Sur-Marne, which is well-known for its famous champagne to this day. They settled into the Champagne region and established their winery that very year. The foundation of this vineyard initiated a unique dynasty that greatly influenced the story of French Champagne; the company's original grand marque house still produces bubbly to this day, though by another company.
An experiment in color: from "rubaudo," Cappiello sets the scene in nothing but tones of red and splashes of white, creating a vibrant, homey warmth that is radiant but not overpowering. The scene, though, is empowering: these charcoal briquettes are so easy to light, the lady of the house will do it herself—to the surprise of the attendant maid.
“Originally seen from the back in an 1892 design writing the words 'Chocolat Menier' on a wall, she returned many times over the years, sometimes scrawling different words in other languages, but always cutting an irresistible tomboyish figure” (Gold, p. 43). This variant shows the girl scrawling the brand’s name on the wall.
“Armand Rassenfosse... was expected to follow in the footsteps of his father, a prosperous merchant in Liège, pursuing his penchant for drawing and engraving only as a hobby. But on a business trip to Paris, he met Felician Rops who persuaded him to attend the Academy at Liège... Rassenfosse at first designed small graphic works like ex libris and letterheads, then went on to book illustrations and magazine cover designs. His posters have a directness and simplicity that bring them an immediate attention. For CIGARETTES JOB, Rassenfosse uses more color, and for some reason, he has chosen a Spanish motif; it was probably easier, in 1910, to imagine a ‘gypsy’ woman smoking a cigarette than having a more genteel girl indulge in such unladylike behavior. According to Weber, women who smoked 'belonged to the lower orders or to criminal classes... By the 1890s one begins to hear of respectable women smoking, but they were either eccentrics or feminists'” (Wine Spectator, 102).
"We see here the uniting of two circus dynasties: the Schumanns and the Rivels. Gotthold Schumann was a leading horse trainer; while his son Albert worked in Berlin, his younger son Max established the circus in Denmark. The Rivel brothers gained fame in the 1920s with a variety of European circuses and eventually performed separately. The most famous was Charlie. Antoni beautifully captures the mastery of this clown, and this design has been widely used by other circuses who have employed Rivel since then. Antoni made close to 200 posters in his too-brief lifetime; this poster he loved the most of all—a feeling we can all share with him" (Circus Posters, p. 15).
The buxom flower-seller is desperate; even as a prospective customer climbs a ladder to escape her sales pitch, the landlord is bearing down upon her with an eviction notice. While little is known regarding the plot of the Biot-Graphe Revue by Tomy and Telloc, theatre critics at the time raved about the production, one going so far as to dub it the greatest show of the year.
Condition: A- / Slight tears and stains, largely at edges.
Cyrano de Bergerac brandishes his sword to the "immense success" of the play written by Edmond Rostand, which loosely fictionalized the life of the real titular man. The entire play is written in verse, with rhyming couplets of twelve syllables per line, and is interestingly responsible for introducing the word "panache" into the English language. The play would later be adapted for stage, film, television, and opera; most notably, Anthony Burgess wrote a new translation and adaptation of the play in 1970.
Condition: B+ / Slight tears and stains at edges. Framed.
Paul Rouaix's "Dictionary of Decorative Arts" was a two-volume compendium that acted as a reference to artists and artisans—namely, it included almost 600 engravings and 17 plates. Mucha was commissioned to design the cover, and in his typical fashion, he delivered this decadent Art Nouveau artiste—adrift in thought, and with all the panache one could expect from a Mucha design.
Condition: B-/ Slight tears at folds; restored losses in corners.
You can already see, in this riveting two-sheet poster, why the Danish actress Asta Nielsen was the first international star of silent film: the large dark eyes, a haunted face, her boyish figure. She often portrayed headstrong, passionate women trapped by tragic circumstances: transforming this melodramatic trope with naturalism and overt eroticism – leading her films to be heavily censored in the U.S. "Dirnentragodie," or 'Tragedy of the Street,' was Nielsen's final silent role. The film epitomizes the Weimar movement called The New Objectivity, which tried to create a middle ground between Brechtian alienation and Expressionist emotionalism by forcing middle-class characters into the oppressive social circumstances of the street. "Dirnentragodie" features Nielsen as an aging prostitute who takes in a young man running away from his middle-class family. She fantasizes about a different future; the man returns to his family; she's accused of murdering her pimp. This 1927 Fenneker design was used for the release of the film in Vienna.
The dancer is boundless joy personified, and the red spotlight on her adds to the impact of this vivacious work. This version is from the series Chéret contributed to the Courrier Français, a lively twelve-page weekly magazine, started in 1894, which championed the work of many leading posterists. But this isn’t the design’s first appearance in that newspaper; that version hails from some six-and-a-half months prior. Apparently this airborne gypsy was popular enough to bring back for a return engagement with slightly altered text in the bottom left corner.
Condition: B+ / slight creasing at horizontal fold
A smiling maiden pushes aside a blue curtain to reveal the splendors of her native land. Unabashedly, she represents the French colonies being honored at the Parisian International Exposition. This is the Portuguese version.
Chéret captures his model dressed for a night on the town and coyly twisting to face the viewer. It's a lovely moment with both soft and detailed qualities—notice the folds in her leg-of-mutton sleeves.
Fin de Siècle was an art and literary magazine published from December of 1890 through 1909. Choubrac created at least two designs for the journal—the first featured another beauty atop a crescent moon, but the image of a scantily clad performer was banned by the Ministry of the Interior's Ernest Constans (otherwise known as "The Father of Modesty"). This image, of a demure damsel in more modest attire, was the chaste replacement for the indecent cover.
Old Forge, New York is a quaint hamlet tucked away in the Adirondack region; as of 2010, their population was 756, and they regularly record the lowest winter temperatures in the state, as in their 1979 record low of -52 degrees Fahrenheit. All signs point to ideal ski conditions, as evidenced by Maurer's athlete soaring high above the snowy peaks.
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.
Condition: A- / Slight tears at top and bottom edge.
René Vincent virtually invented auto advertising for the moneyed elite, with an elegant and precise line extending from the machinery to the women he drew. In this ad, as in so many since, we can see the wealthy couple leading the children to the back seats in the new family sedan. "See all Ford agents for the latest Ford creation: new line, elegance and indisputable chic, refined comfort, and mechanical improvements for all models." The bright burst of golden leaves, matching the wife's coat, supplants an exhaust plume with clever placement. Together with the Racing Green of the car, it's as a superb visual shorthand for "top-down fun from Spring to Fall." Strikingly, this French advertisement doesn't name the car: we suspect it's the 1928 Model A Convertible.
One of three designs that Loupot created for Canton Fourrures in Lausanne, this image of a fur-swaddled, ivory-skinned woman with a bee-stung pout first appeared in 1924 (see PAI-LIII). In the early 1930s, the background color changed to blue and would remain so throughout a variety of address changes for the company. This is the third edition in the series with the 20 Rue de Bourg address, printed from the same lithographic stones as the original. Asked why the black background was replaced by blue overtime, the current chief of operations, Richard Canton, revealed that blue provided better visibility during the winter months.
Condition: B/ Slight tears and stains, largely in text area.
The Campbell's soup company has many other entrepreneurs to thank for its success, including the Franco-American Food Company, founded by French emigré Alphonse Biardot in 1886. His canned soups and pastas—inspired by his native cuisine—became quite successful, and Campbell's acquired the company in 1915. His company's name was eventually phased out, but we can still thank Biardot for products beloved by children today: namely, SpaghettiOs and RavioliOs. This poster provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Franco-American company in its heyday.
To advertise the summer program of (mostly) Greek tragedy at the Freilicht Theater in Lucerne, Cardinaux illustrates a scene from one of the classics in his own modern idiom that remains evocative of ancient fresco aesthetics.