Werther Opera poster by Eugene Grasset
May 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
Original Stone Lithograph
Very Fine Condition
Printed in France in 1893
By Eugene Grasset (1841-1917)
Advertising posters first appeared in Europe in the 1860s, the early posters were somewhat primitive- but they evolved quickly and blossomed fully in the Belle Epoque period. The public strolling in the streets of Paris found posters to be a delightful topic of conversation, and began to collect these pieces of ephemera. Some passers by would pull posters from the walls of buildings, others would visit print shops and ask for over runs. In this way, poster collecting in Europe began.
French Opera posters from the Belle Epoque era represent the detailed designs of this period beautifully. We have been buying and selling them for 16 years. Once easy to find, these original pieces have become scarce. Today’s collector chooses these posters because they bring drama and romance into a room, or because they have a fondness for the opera represented.
Based on the book by Goethe, Werther remains one of the most popular of Massenet operas. The inserts on the poster show Werther’s affection for Lotte, who marries another man. The final insert shows his declaration of love to Lotte.
Eugene Grasset was an Art Nouveau poster artist and illustrator born in Switzerland, naturalized French. Grasset founded a school of decorative arts and was a prolific designer of stamps, textiles, book bindings, wallpaper, typefaces, stained glass, calendars and playing cards. His decorative flourishes of ribbons, buttons and leaves show the marks of masterful decorative artist.
Reference: French Opera Posters by Lucy Broido, published by Dover Books
This post was written by Elizabeth Norris, proprietor of Vintage European Posters and http://www.vepca.com.
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