143 x 88 in./363.2 x 223.5 cm Imp. P. Vercasson, Paris
Cappiello created two designs for the Pygmalion department store; for his summer fashions design, see Cappiello/Rennert, 187. “In numerous instances, Cappiello created designs for commercial products in which his penchant for exuberance and exaggeration remains quiescent. What we get instead of extravagance are commercial images executed in fine style with the quiet competence of a talented artist. These two large, 4-sheet posters... [typify] this approach. The carefully arranged scenes could easily stand alone as pieces of fine art; note how they create an aura of refinement and gentility without ostentation. Where is the exuberant, outrageous, capricious Cappiello that we know and love? He’s still there, but in these designs he shows his quiet side: the artist who may easily have chosen a less volatile professional career, a skilled posterist who knows when excess would be inappropriate or unnecessary” (Cappiello/Rennert, p. 134). This four-sheet poster is the only known copy.
59 x 117 in./149.8 x 297.2 cm Imp. de la Vasselais, Paris
Many of Morvan’s more than 800 posters were for films, but his broad colors and incisive wit are displayed to best advantage in his product posters, as is the case here. The bike racer mounted in this three-sheet poster takes a break from the rigors of competition, allowing himself a moment of refreshment. Although it appears as if he hasn’t even taken a sip, the mere act of hearing the trademark “pschitt” and seeing the effervescent dance of Perrier sparkling water is enough to brighten his face, as well as the air surrounding the bottle.
When L’Estampe et l’Affiche asked Jossot about his approach to creating Saupiquet Sardines, he explained: “The poster on the wall must howl, it has to force itself on the glance of the passer-by. I have to say without self-conceit that I have done an immense advertisement for the house of Saupiquet, doing as much with my noisy colors as with my grotesque drawing pushed almost to the monstrous” (Célébrités, p. 202). Curiously he didn’t speak about the celebrities he represented in the rather unflattering process of eating their sardines straight from the can with their hands. This illustrious panel includes—from left to right—Sidi-Ali Bey (notorious politico Doctor Grenier after his conversion to Islam), Yvette Guilbert, journalist and politician Henri Rochefort, Sarah Bernhardt, and Aristide Bruant. And as Jossot said, this poster is indeed immense, measuring six sheets and 19 feet wide.
"Down with the middleman!" Gustave Fabre vintners of Nîmes want you to take the side of the lovely, hardworking, indignant grape stompers and kick the distributor (and his fees) to the curb, and go straight to the source for your wine. This two-sheet masterpiece comes without the additional text on the bottom (which delivers a more discursive argument) because it's rather unnecessary. The image is everything.