Placard is familiar to the humankind for a long time. It was widely used yet in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome for announces of histrionics and commercial agreement. Illustrated placard appeared in 1830 and most of all was black-and-white. Up to 1860-ies placard remained monochrome and almost didn’t dither from other kinds of illustrations. Only in the last years of XIX century placard appeared, different from other kinds of illustrations.
It is considered that the first in the history advertisement placard was printed by a bookseller Batdold in 1482 as an advertisement of the new edition of Euclid’s “Geometry”. It didn’t last till nowadays. We have a placard of 1491 left, which offered the honorable public a romance “Beautiful Melousine”. This graphical sheet is noteworthy as well for erotical motifs used there for a first time.
The new life of placard, including advertisement placard, began in 1919. strictly speaking, then the word itself appeared. The Russian variant is a calque of the German, das “Plakat”. In England and USA the word “poster” was used being a derivative from the noun “post”. It’s considered, that in these countries alike sheets were put up first of all near the crowded post station. In France, the word “affiche” settled down.
In 1796 a german Aloiz Sennefedder invented a new technique of printing of images. A picture was put on a special stone with a chemical composition, then the stone was covered with paint. An edition was printed from the stone, which made the production of graphical sheets cheaper on principle. Placards became large format quickly, but up to 1860 the remained one-colored: the printing was done in black on a white or colored background. The invention of chromo-lithographical method is ascribed to a Parisian Godfroi Engelman, who received for it an award of 2000 francs in 1838. But Engelman wasn’t the first. The reliable sources tell that a russian painter Korniliy Jakovlevitch Tromonin in 1832 had already printed in the same method the illustrations to the book about prince Sviatoslav in edition of 600 copies. He was the one who began the first publishing albums of colorful reproduction of artistic creation and decors.
The technical process got more simplified, when in 1865, an austrian baron Von Ransonet invented the technique of photochromolithography, based on use of photographical picture, which permitted to obtain practically any colors by means of three basic colors – blue (cyan), red (magenta) and yellow. It became possible to produce relatively cheap color reproductions which however were able to reproduce the natural colors in mass editions.
A frenchman Jules Cheret is considered to be the “father” of advertisement placard as it is today. He was a pencil artist and a scene decorator, who founded a small lithography office in Paris in 1866. Actually he formulated the basic principle of the modern placard – a striking character (in the first place by contrast and bright colors), the possibility to perceive the image and the text without a pause conciseness, the concentration of attention on Single main figure. Cheret created over 1000 placards, mostly it were the advertisements of cafe chantants, masquerades, exhibitions.
Paris cabarets bills created by the great A. Toulouse-Lautrec in 90-ies of the XIX century became unattainable exemplars of the advertisement art. Toulouse-Lautrec became famous among the wide public thanks to ad sheets of bill stands, which appeared in thos years on the Paris trottoirs. The vary first of them. The placard of the “Moulin Rouge” opened in 1889 with the scandalous dancer La Goulue (“Insatiable”) made a real furor.
During one and a half centuries ad painters repeatedly used actual artistic styles, directions, themes. They did with such a talent, that the ad poster turn out, after all, a special branch of the pictorial art. It’s me case of the “modern” a style which took a rather important place in the art of the end of XIX-beginning of the XX century. The modern was founded as it’s considered a little knew finish painter Axel Hallen-Kallela, who first designed the finnish epos “Kalevala” in the new aesthetics. It’s interesting mat among the best representatives of mis style there are almost no painters of the “first line”. However, they write sometimes that an important role in his formation was played by Paul Gaudin, sometimes they try to find the “roots” of the modern in Toulouse-Lautrec work. But these are nothing move than “roots”.
The modern is first of all a design style. In it’s basis, a thesis is placed according to which the form in the art is more important than it’s contents. It’s features are refinement, subtlety, spirituality, changeability. Hence a certain palette of colors followed: faded, allayed: the prevalence of smooth, complicated lines; a set of symbols – weird flowers, sea rarities, waves. The images of a women itself is close to the modern.
Among the world-wide known masters of brush we may assign to the modern undoubtedly, but a Viennese painter Gustav Klimt, whose “A Kiss” and “Judith” came into most albums on the modern. Among the authors of modern we can name a world wide knew architect and designer an English Charles Renny Macintosh. Actually, in his honour the famous computer is named, used for the graphical programs.
The most popular advertisement painter, who worked in this style was Alphonse la Mouche. His name was made thank to the rills of spectacles in which the prima of the Parisian Stage Sara Bernard featured. Alphonse la Mouche was the “father” of the genre of the special advertisement calendar. One can rarely see goods or a picture of a purchaser on his placards. Only the goods positions declared such as to be a prestige, outstanding object corresponding to the “spirit of time”. La Mouche’s panticularity was also an extraordinarily wide use of a romantic woman image though it might have no reference at all to the goods or service advertised.
Quit different style, though close to mat of Lautrec, but however original was habitual to a well-known french painter Pierre Bonnard. “The rrench Champaign (1891)” is his most famous placard. Bonnard resorted to fashionable curves of the “art nouveau”, to create a playful image of a women with a glass of merry drink in her hand.
Here comes another outstanding name in the history of the “modern-advertisement”. Is a great English grapher Orby Berdsley. Berdsley was very much liked by Russian painters in the “Golden Fleece” Magazine. Such artistic direction as “The world of art” cannot be examined at all without his influence. Berdsley’s works were mostly black and white (Indian ink and pen). He worked in a genre of advertisement polygraphy and created models of advertisement sheets for magazine and almanacs, superjackers of book […] catalogues, announcements about new books, invitation cards for high society measures.
In the end of the XIX century the ad placard was officially recognized a fact, if not of a fine art, but of culture anyway. However strange it may sound Russia was an initiator of this recognition.
In 1897 the International bills exhibitions opened under patronage of the “Partners society” in Petersburg. It was the first public review of the new genre. The exhibition, which made a great influence on the development of the pictorial advertisement in Russia, gathered about 700 creations from 13 countries. 200 works were offered by France, 100 by the USA, 100 by the Germany. The Russian department included 28 placards. 19 placards by the genre founder J. Cheret were brought to the exhibition, as well as 18 sheets by A. la Mouche, and works by A. Toulouse-Lautrec, P. Bonnard.
This was the activity direction of the Russian art magazines “World of art”, “Art and the artistic industry”, “Golden Fleece”, which were started in 1898. the Russian advertisement of the end of the XIX – beginning of the XX century couldn’t stay aside the artistic trends of this period in Russia. It can and must be examined in the whole context a special epoch in the history of the russian culture, which got an expressive name of the “silver age”. Profound works by N. I. Baburina, M. Anyxt, E. Chernevitch were consecrated to the problem of the influence exerted by the “silver age” aesthetics and ethnics upon the Russian advertisement graphic. The Russian advertisement graphic in the modern is examined by them right through the prism of the social trends of that time.
In Russia the modern became especially popular in the beginning of the XX century. It was borrowed by Russia from Europe, but it’s vitality – increased because of merely inner circumstance which was a necessity to overcome the fashion on the traditionalism.
The traditionalism or the “neorussian style” was the most fashionable style of the last third of the XIX country. It’s bright representatives were I. Bilibin, V. Vasnetsov, I. Petrov-Ropet at first sight, this style followed the Russian people art traditions, especially in those constants which were characteristic of them until XVII century. But it was not the people aesthetics that was put into it’s basis, it was a manifestation of certain trends of the russian idea of the last third of the XIX century in different spheres: philosophical, social, historical and artistic.
In most cases the traditionalism was a sort of stylization and the main principle of a stylizing painter work is to follow the original the accuracy in details. The “accuracy in details” was habitual to advertisement too, made by the best representatives of the “traditionalist” trend, though the object of advertisement was sometimes rather distant from all “russian”.
Many painters M. Belsky, N. Vycheslavtsev, N. Kalmakov and other worked in the graphical advertisement design in the modern, but their names are […] known todey even to the most strict demands of the style. First of all these are ad objects (bills, invitation cards, ad leaflets), bound to artistic or high society measures. A bill by V. Kandinsky made for the exhibition in Germany in 1901 arouses a great interest. It’s characterized by the use of stylistic methods of the modern as well as the possibilities of the transformations of plane images into an abstract pattern, which was Kandinsky’s later on interest. But the goods commercial advertisement has also it’s examples of a very successful use of the aesthetics of the modern, even when designers followed it’s principles less thoroughly. The use of principal of the modern in producing wrappings and labels dererves a special mention. As this style was first of all created in order to bring beauty in everyday life, these are samples of soap wrappings, labels, candy wrappings that witnen today about now successful were the painters resolving this question.
At the same time most commercial designers used only separate elements of this style joining in an eclectic way, for example, a weird line of the modern with a bright color gamma, strange to this style, certain vulgarity of images, etc.
The modern was popular among the intelligentsia, well-off and not very much well-off citizens. Therefore it’s somewhat amazing, that the style passed by inertia into another historical epoch also – the revolutionary one. The transmission link was represented undoubtedly by painters working on orders of the soviet organizations. Thus, in 1918 a stele “To fallen in Struggle” by S. Konenkov was solemnly opened on the Kremlin wall: the genius of Victory raises the Red Banner with one hand, and reacher a palm branch of peace with another. According to it’s purpose this stele is a creation of propaganda art, but it’s resolved obviously in the spirit of stylistic particularities of the modern such as the symbolical […] of images, color palette, a weird contours of figures. The modern was used also in political placards of the civie war period, though it may seen that it’s basic philosophical concept was infinitely remote from a sharply strained opposition of two colors – red and white. The modern can be seen from time to time in the home advertisement of the second half of the XX century, in the form of a direct quotation or even a certain development of the principles of the style. The interest to the modern is returns today in any case numerous art albums of the “art nouveau” published in 90-ies are quickly bought up by the russian consumer. Obviously introduction of beauty into everyday life is vital again among well-off russian consumer.
By O.O. Savelieva.