Parisian actress Marcelle Lender had been appearing in a series of comic operas, principally at the Théâtre des Variétés, since 1889. Utterly enamored with the performer, Lautrec did many drawings of her in a variety of her roles. Here, she is depicted in Chilpéric, an operetta-revue that was revived in 1895. “The main attraction in Chilpéric was the bolero, danced by Marcelle Lender as the Galaswintha at the court of King Chilpéric. It was not so much the flimsy plot of this medieval farce as the actress ... who led Lautrec to sit through the operetta nearly twenty times. Always watching from the same angle, from one of the first tiers on the left, he would lie in wait with his sketch pad” (Adriani, p. 157). Lautrec’s attentions were well repaid. His half-length portrait of Lender in her fantastic Spanish costume, bowing to the audience applause, is considered a lithographic masterpiece. “No other lithograph is printed with such a wealth of subtle color combinations, and none embodies, as this does, the opulent decoration of an age moving towards its close” (Adriani, p. 161). This is the Pan edition.
That sneaky grin of pleasure says it all: you'll steal a little time for the delightful taste of this strawberry liqueur, whether mixed with white wine, vermouth, champagne, or seltzer—your train tickets and the conductor be damned.
Condition: A- / Slight creases in bottom text area.
The Russian (abstract expressionist and Constructivist) influence is palpable in this outstanding Art Deco dance poster, in which the dancers' bodies seamlessly fuse into the precise ideals of Euclidean geometry: parallel lines, circles, and arcs, held within a cantilevered tension, a crescent moon, and a red isosceles triangle. The dance duo is unknown; there's a chance that Stone is Bentley Stone, the famous choreographer, dancer, and teacher who toured extensively in the 1930s and 1940s.
Luftwaffe biplanes tip out of the sky at the 1935 Deutschlandflug, an annual event sponsored by the German Sport Flying League. The circuit began in Berlin and continued around to six cities throughout the country in six days, covering more than 3,000 miles. The race was won by four pilots from Danzig flying Klemm monoplanes.
Along with Hohlwein and Fries, Krotowski's elegant designs dominated the early days of PKZ's advertising. Here, the clothier is represented by a dapper gentleman, perfectly dressed and accessorized for a fashionable day in the park.
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.
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.
Christened in 1925, the Maréchal Lyautey joined the fleet of ships owned by the Navigation Paquet company, who specialized in developing service from Europe to the Mediterranean and West Africa. Ponty presents a sharp and angular Deco design—the only organic shapes are the subtle whorls of the sea.
This lovely silver plate from Mucha's heralded 1901 "Documents Décoratifs" is a prime example of the artist's poetic universe. Gabriel Mourey wrote that this universe is "...a garden inhabited by beautiful women of languorous grace, with unspoiled nature in their glances; a garden in which the shrubbery sparkles with stars and flowers, in which cascades of precious stones fly by, in which clouds of artificial perfumes create a deliciously enervating atmosphere and strange fairy palaces suddenly shoot up, their splendor doubled by their reflection in the lakes" (Mucha/Style Book, Foreword).
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.
Nizzoli's arresting Art Deco design with a phantom-like motorcycle rider emphasizes both power and comfort, as the fashionable passenger can easily put on her lipstick during the ride. Nizzoli was a most versatile artist: painter, decorator, textile designer, and posterist. Many of his posters were for automobile companies. In 1938 he joined Olivetti and was responsible for some of their finest designs in the 1940s and 1950s. He produced a monograph on the firm in 1968.
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.
Cherry-flavored with a hint of quinne, Maurin's aperitif was only recently reintroduced to French and international markets-more than a century after fading into obscurity the year this poster was printed. Referencing the infamous green fairy imagery commonly associated with absinthe, this green devil is one of Cappiello's most famous characters. This is the smaller, one-sheet version of the poster.
Although the slogan reads "I only smoke Nil", Nil isn't actually a cigarette, but rather a brand of cigarette rolling paper. Nil claimed to be as "tough as an elephant's hide," which is how the company's spokespachyderm came to be. So this was an easy marriage between product and posturist, seeing as the elephant was a favorite Cappiello attention-getter. The Joseph Bardou company introduced Nil to the public in 1887.
Lassoing time with electrical cables, this nude muse promotes Orario Cooperativo, a monthly publication of Italy’s tram and railway schedules and routes. This is the in-store advertising display version of the poster.
Condition: B- / Slight tears and stains at folds and seams.
A maiden of the Austrian Secession plunges through bubbles in this banner for Richardsquelle mineral water—an odd name for fizzy water from the Bohemian town of Lazne Kynzvart; the spring was named for Prince Metternich's son.
Condition: Overall excellent condition with slight stains at edges.
This 30-page complete program includes a supplement of Toulouse-Lautrec's Ambassador in color, and music sheets of Aristide Bruant's top songs. It contains 140 songs and poems in total, with illustrations by Barrère, Fau, Grandjouan, Léandre, Métivet, Morin, Steinlen, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Willette.
Picasso announces his LACMA exhibition of 60 years of work with a playful design—a Cubist-style clown, flanked by the artist's childlike handwriting. This charming image was a trial proof before printing the final poster, and is one of 100 copies.
“The Irish American Bar at 33 rue Royale was furnished in gleaming mahogany, and had a Chinese-Indian bar-keeper called Ralph, who with stoical calm served the British jockeys and trainers and local coachmen who frequented the bar. Here, too, the florid figure of Tom... the Rothschild’s coachman, a particular favorite with Lautrec for his supercilious manner... is visible among the customers being served by Ralph with a special concoction” (Adriani, p. 196). It was also a favorite haunt of Lautrec’s, as he “let people know he could be found every afternoon in a certain bar. For several years from 1894 onwards, it was the Irish and American Bar. ...There, it is said, [Lautrec] presided over the clients in the bar as he had over his house guests, insisting to Ralph... that people he didn’t like not be admitted” (Frey, p. 390). This is the finest specimen we have ever seen!
“By 1893 if there were any doubts that there was a printmaking renaissance and that lithography dominated this general print revival, those doubts were quieted forever by a new publication entitled L’Estampe Originale... From March 1893 to early 1895, in collaboration with [critic] Roger Marx, [André] Marty published... a series of quarterly albums of ten prints each (except for the last which contained fourteen prints) in the media of etching, drypoint, mezzotint, woodcut, wood engraving, gypsography and lithography. In all, the publication encompassed ninety-five prints by seventy-four artists representing the young avant-garde such as Lautrec and the Nabis, as well as their established mentors including Gauguin, Puvis de Chavannes, Redon, Chéret, Whistler, Bracquemond and Lepère. L’Estampe Originale offers a remarkable cross-section of the most advanced aesthetic attitudes in fin de siècle French art” (Color Revolution, p. 22). Marty felt that Lautrec “deserved ‘a place of honour in the golden book of the modern print’... [and he] accorded Henri exactly that place, using him as the artist for the cover of the first issue” (Frey, p. 323). Lautrec shows us his favorite model, Jane Avril, at his favorite lithographic workshop, Ancourt, studying a proof pulled by Père Cotelle, the experienced printer at the Bisset press behind her.
Villon's celebrated design promotes Guinguette Fleurie—noted below as "The Flower of the Singer-Poets"—at the Manège Central, a Montmartre music hall that was formerly a riding school. Villon was an important figure in the history of Modern art and a quintessential figure in the bohemian scene of Fin-de-Siècle Paris. A Cubist painter, illustrator and filmmaker, he created only six posters—all graced by his superb drawing skills and observation of character. We fancy that the small bearded figure in the distant background of this poster is a self-caricature.