Absinthe Mugnier, "Maitres de l'Affiche" plate 135 Food & Beverage Advertising Poster


Genre: Food & Beverage
Artist: Lucien Lefevre
Year Printed: 1895
Artwork Created: 1898
Size: 11.5" x 15.5"
Country of Poster: France
Printer: Chaix (Paris, France)
Restoration Detail: Restored
Condition: Flat
Grade: Near Mint
Additional Information: Lithogrpah printed in colors, This is plate 135 from the Maitre de l'Affiche series featuring Lucien Lefevre's poster for Absinthe Mungier with a French legionnaire happily raising a bottle of absinthe. Since the mid 19th century, absinthe was dispensed to the legionnaires fighting in Algeria as preventative measure against fever and to kill bacteria in water. Here it is unclear if our legionnaire is benefitting from absinthe's healthful benefits or from the alcoholic effects of "la fee verte" (the green fairy). Lefevre, influenced by Cheret while working in his atelier at the printing company of Chaix, acquired a reputation in his own right as a posterist.

This lithograph, printed in 1897, is from the Maitres de l'Affiche (Masters of the Poster) collection, one of 256 color plates delivered to monthly subscribers in sets of four beginning in 1895 and continuing through 1900. The collection was reproduced from the original posters of ninety-seven artists in a smaller 15 3/4 x 11 3/8 inch (40 x 29 cm) format. The individual plates were issued as separate numbered sheet, with the printer's name, "Imprimerie Chaix," in the margin at the bottom left hand corner and blind stamp.

This small format and the fact the "Maitres" were a paid subscription allowed the printer to use the latest state-of-the-art printing techniques not normally used in the large format posters. High-quality paper was used, whereas the posters were usually printed on lesser quality newsprint. This explains why the quality of the printing, in the "Maitres de l'Affiche," usually far exceeds that of their larger counterparts.

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