The Complete "Masters of the Poster": All 256 Color Plates from "Les Maîtres de l'Affiche" (Dover Fine Art, History of Art) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2016/7/20
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Les Maîtres de l'Affiche (The Masters of the Poster) is one of the most prestigious and influential art publications in history. Its 256 color plates have preserved for each succeeding generation a wide- ranging selection of outstanding posters from the turn of the century, when the popular art form had reached its first peak. This Dover edition is the first complete republication of the legendary Maîtres set to devote a full large page to each plate.
Les Maîtres de l'Affiche was issued as separate numbered sheets measuring 11 1/4 x 15 1/2 inches. Every month for 60 months, from December 1895 through November 1900, subscribers received a wrapper containing four consecutively numbered poster reproductions. On 16 occasions, the monthly wrapper also contained a bonus plate, not a poster reproduction but a specially created art lithograph. Jules Chéret, father of the modern poster, emerged with the lion's share of the plates, 60 of the 240 numbered poster reproductions and 7 of the 16 unnumbered bonus plates. Of the 97 artists represented in Les Maîtres de l'Affiche, some were preeminent painters and printmakers at various stages of their careers: Toulouse-Lautrec, Denis, Bonnard, Vallotton, Puvis de Chavannes. Others were famous illustrators and cartoonists of the period, still well known to art collectors and bibliophiles: Forain, Caran d'Ache, Ibels, Willete, Boutet de Monvel, Léandre. But there were also all those whose names say "poster," the conquering pioneers of the new medium: Chéret himself, Mucha, Steinlen, the Beggarstaffs, Grasset, Penfield, Parrish, Bradley, and Hardy.
This edition reproduces the plates in their original numerical sequence, one to a page, retaining the standardized tan border introduced by the editors of Les Maîtres. The bonus plates, originally unnumbered and issued at various times, have been given the letters A through P and have been placed at the end of the volume. The List of Plates indicates the exact months in which Maîtres subscribersreceived these bonus plates. In order to keep the plate pages uncluttered, the captions on those pages have been limited to plate number (or letter) and the artist's name. The List of Plates also furnishes essential data on the original full-sized posters: their dimensions, the year in which they were first published, city of publication, and specific print shop responsible. A special Dover feature, which is almost certainly a first ever, is a full literal translation of the text of all posters printed in a language other than English. These are all new direct translations from French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Czech, and Hungarian.
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And here they are, in order, numbered, with stats about the artists, and an overview. The artists were breaking out of the stifling Victorian mould. They were no longer restricted to geometric frameworks. Their subjects could be facing away, playing with the text, woven into the title, or have nothing whatever to do with the product being advertised. The artists made up new fonts like there was no tomorrow. For centuries, there had been only a handful of fonts outside the decorous initial letters of religious text chapters. Here, now, for all to see, was open competition to attract the eye of the passer-by. And in as ultra-modern a fashion as possible.
It was an exuberant era, beautifully assembled in this Dover collection for all to see in outsized pages.
The transfer of the plate numbers and the actual artist has been extremely poorly done. Someone needs to go back in and assure that a Chéret poster is credited to Chéret and that Steinlen is credited to Steinlen. If one had no other references one would quite go mad with the mis-numbering/crediting of the plates.