Cognac Monnet 1927;Leonetto Cappiello;78 1/8″ X 50 1/4″;A-, L
The subject of lithographs alerting us to beverages brings to the fore two richly sensuous crafts. An alert graphic designer would have in mind affinities between his own field’s capacity to thrill and the bounty of the subject—here, fine wines, liqueurs and beers. Our collection concerning this industry and art is too extensive to be coherently presented in a single blog; and so we begin a series—of this case of kinship—with the subject of presenting in works on paper French champagnes and cognacs.
The nature of champagne and cognac is both earthy and elegant. And with our first vintage poster (courtesy of one of the premier designers and lithographic craftsmen, Leonetto Cappiello) creating a sensation for the sake of conveying to the passer-by what a field of energy, beauty and joy the product elicits, those ecstatic qualities come to light at a high level. The fantastical goddess and her regal observances (about “sun in a glass”) invite us to let ourselves concentrate on the sensuous phenomenon of experiencing the treasure and let the rest of the world get lost for a while. The very large scale of this poster well coincides with the mysterious powers involved.
Another dream girl, telling us, “you can’t have too much champagne!” The subtle coloration of her dress directs us to the vineyard and its primeval qualities, but also to the advanced civilization being given free rein here. Once again, the monumental scale spells an affair with the greatest qualities!
Grand Vin de Champagne Morlant c. 1920;D’apres b. virtel ?;14” x 10”; A, L
On the other hand, these vintage gems speak to quieter, more fully aged discernment. An anniversary in the high double-digits glows in golden beauty from out of silver threads, as granted such great range by the magic of extra-fine champagne. The modest scale is perfect for eliciting an uncanny playfulness.
Buvez du Vin 1933;Leonetto Cappiello;63″ X 47″; A-,L
France a planet of grapes! Here a surreal touch, made ever more strange by the mainstream figures. A recurrent design conceit of the splendor of wine (in this instalment wine jazzed up) providing a necessary escape from mundane life. “Drink wine and live joyously,” the tag line sings. Classic muscular French format announcing and conveying a big deal you shouldn’t miss!
Champagne de Castellane 1991;Raymond Savignac;23 5/8″ x 17 5/8″;A,P
Breezy modernism brought to bear upon the fun and fantastic powers of champagne. The cartoon touch–by the one-and-only Savignac–evokes easy-going, even blasé, gratification. A little volcano would be something quite useful to put some real fire into this “awesome” power couple.
“Health, gaiety and hope,” the story runs here. And in the depths of the Depression, they would be rare commodities. The design choice of earthy good cheer, enhanced by brilliant array and color, tags the (high-octane) wines of France as a celestial gift to restore the right stuff.
Cognac Montagnon c.1920;Anonymous;16″ x 11 7/8″;A-,L
A link here between carriage-trade cognac and carriage-trade fashion. Pink as a signal that the highest harmonies are in effect. No one does hedonism as sharply and resonantly as the French!