• Old Master, Modern & Contempor auction at Christies

    Sale 7839

    Old Master, Modern & Contemporary Prints

    31 March 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 149

    Portfolio

    Les Maîtres de l'Affiche, Volumes I - V, L'Imprimerie Chaix, Paris, 1896-1900

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Portfolio
    Les Maîtres de l'Affiche, Volumes I - V, L'Imprimerie Chaix, Paris, 1896-1900
    the complete set of 256 lithographs in five volumes, 240 printed in colours, after posters by Jules Chéret (1836-1932), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939), Paul Berthon (1872-1909), Eugène Grasset (1841-1917), Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923), the Beggarstaff Brothers and others, on wove paper, the colours fresh, each volume with title, preface by Roger Marx, list of plates and index, each plate with the blindstamp (Lugt 1777c), the full sheets, the sheets slightly toned, some time staining at the sheet edges, a few plates with minor nicks and tears, generally in good condition, loose (as published), two volumes lacking the original pale green cloth covers, with surface dirt and some scuffing, lacking the original cloth ties(5 portfolios)
    410 x 300 mm. (overall)


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    In 1886 Ernest Maindron, one of the earliest champions of poster art and the curator of an exhibition on the history of advertising in 1889, observed that: 'For the last twenty years, artistic posters have taken a prominent place on the walls of Paris. Our best designers have used their crayons. The most sympathetic among them, M. Jules Chéret, lending to them a magnificence of unparalleled talent, has put them in fashion'. (P. D. Cate, Prints Abound - Paris in the 1890's, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2000-2001, p. 29.)

    The general public's enthusiasm for the posters which, by the 1890's enlivened many of the boulevards of Paris, inspired several publications documenting the burgeoning art form. The most famous of these was Les Maîtres de l'Affiche which was offered in monthly instalments to subscribers from December 1895 to November 1900. Ninety-seven artists were represented in sixty issues with lithographs, providing not only an extraordinary record of the golden age of the poster, but also vividly evoking the Belle Époque.

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