Two magnificent posters are in view today (over and above the two great works above, introducing the stars of the day), each celebrating the good life in vastly differing ways. We could leave the pairing as merely consisting of Belle Epoque (the Martigny) and Art Deco (the Deauville). But that would land us in reciting obvious stylistic and socioeconomic differences.Let’s instead consider how they share a vision of abundance that could not have seen the light of day before the advent of the modern era coinciding with the early days of poster production and the alerts sent forth by posters. Though something of a landscape, the promotion for a health spa in Eastern France by way of the work by Lucien Metivet, titled Martigny, could not really be called “Impressionist.” And yet the sweep of the stirring foliage against a twilit sky, as sending surging toward us a group of gracious figures, does share some of the tinctures of the Impressionist premium upon mysterious, sensuous energies.
These energies are harnessed to make attractive the place and the business of the Martigny spa. Similarly the dash of Deauville’s pin-up girl in the guise of Eve distributes delightful and effective energies across the design by Jean-Gabriel Domergue, for the beach/casino at that implied Garden of Eden. Here, however, it is the singular protagonist—not all of nature—that takes charge, exuding an impulse to shake things up a little (or a lot).
There is a wealth of discussion to embark upon regarding these two factors so significant to the enjoyment of graphics. We’ll return to this matter again and again in the coming weeks.
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