Vintage Posters + Montreal - Long live the King!

Posted by karen ETINGIN on January 08, 2012 0 Comments


I have often compared the process of buying a vintage poster to the act of seducing a lover. Wait - stay with me here - there really is a similarity. Vintage, collectable posters are hard to find, expensive to own, and once you've started to acquire them, hard to forget. They make you smile, occupy a large part of your life (and wall space), and remind you of happy times, or places you've been to, or both.

I have seen it time and time again - a client walks in to the gallery, and sees a poster they like. They look at it, then look away. They walk in to another room, and then walk back, mesmerized by that one particular poster which appealed to them more than any other (and we have lots!). They ask about the price, the size, the artist - and then they leave, most often empty-handed. But they return - sometimes quickly, other time after a period of months, telling us that they just couldnt stop thinking about the poster - THAT poster, THEIR poster - the one that they just had to have.

Posters have that ability - they captivate you, overwhelm you, make you NEED to have them - just like lovers, or partners, or spouses. They become a part of your life and make you wonder how you ever lived without them. They are magical, spell-binding and spectacular But unlike some partners, posters will never let you down. Once in your life, they will make you wonder how you ever lived without them - and they will clamour for company. Once you start collecting vintage posters and they become a part of your life, you're hooked forever.

This post includes some of the posters we placed this year, in their new homes. We think you'll agree - they look stupendous and as if they BELONG in the spaces which they now call home. Cappiello's Veuve Amiot reigns over a kitchen in Westmount, Le Chameau's boots are in the entry of another Montreal home, and Prunelle found pride of place in the apartment of Jordanna and Stephany. Fabulous!

The L'Affichiste team is hard at work on our new blog - which explains why we havent posted too much in the last few weeks. We are set to launch next week and are very excited about the new format. It's a great deal of work, but as with most things, the more you put into it, the larger the rewards. We look forward to your comments and suggestions!

Happy 2012!

Read More

We've been working hard on our new blog...

Posted by karen ETINGIN on January 05, 2012 0 Comments

 ... called Poster Romance, which will launch in about a week.

It will be full of all the things we (and you!) like: posters, stories about posters, humour, design, trends....

So, while we are busy with that, I thought I would give you a link to one of my favorite blogs, called Design Sponge, and a story they did which features posters prominently.

Happy Happy 2012!

Read More

Christmas Parties @ L'Affichiste...

Posted by karen ETINGIN on December 22, 2011 0 Comments

I can talk about vintage posters for hours. Hours and hours. I usually stop when the person I am speaking to gets that glaze in their eyes which tells me that they have become catatonic... but not always.

In my mind there is just so much to talk about with posters - their history, the artists who produced them, the manner in which they were produced - that even though I often find myself telling the same stories (hopefully to folks who haven't heard them before), I don't tire of educating and enlightening 'poster virgins' - in fact, I really enjoy it.

The other night we had an event in the gallery - in conjunction with a blogger named Laure who has a lovely blog called Une Parisienne a Montreal - and we had the opportunity to open the gallery to a whole new audience of Montrealers who hadn't been here before. The gallery is large and lends itself well to events like this - as you can see from the photos - and Stephanny, Kristina and I had a great time showing off our babies.

We have a full library of poster-related books - some for sale, some for research - and the corners of the gallery were full of folks reading and learning ... just the kind of thing which I think poster buyers should do before buying a piece of art.

We are happy to share our passion with you, and in the New Year, we plan on expanding the blog into something more frequent, more informative, and hopefully, even more passionate than it currently is. All the best for the holidays and New Year from L'Affichiste.

Photos by Christie Vuong

Read More

Winning! Loterie Nationale Posters @ L'Affichiste

Posted by karen ETINGIN on December 19, 2011 1 Comment


French Loterie Nationale posters are highly collectable, great visual statements, and endlessly entertaining.

In his very enlightening article "Loterie nationale : Mythes et symboles" written in 1969, the influencial French journalist and author of many books on consumerism, education and advertising proposes an in-depth analysis of posters comissioned by the French lottery since 1953, date at which it began hiring some of France's best designers and developing a corpus of some of the most effective posters in history. Important designers included René Vincent, Jean Effel, Pol Ferjac, Drouet et Lesacq.

Folks have always dreamed of winning the lottery - here in Quebec the 6/49 is a big draw every week - and these posters are excellent examples of how artists and governments has always played on the heartstrings of people who hope and pray that this week will be the week they win BIG!

These are just some of the lottery posters we have just received - others are at the linen backers and will be listed shortly.

"If you don't buy, you can't win" ... but with these posters in your home, you'll feel like you've won the lottery every day!

Read More

South-West Montreal

Posted by Stephanny Boucher on December 16, 2011 0 Comments

 I'm sure we've said it before, but I'll say it again... We love being located in Montreal's growing and historically-rich South-West district. It's literally getting the best of two worlds : The trendy downtown vide and the cozy feel of a tightly-knit community. Recently, Eve Lamoureux-Cyr who writes for Quartier du Canal, a webzine dedicated to the South-West, dropped by for a visit of the gallery. We were able to exchange on topics regarding the community and the developments that are making Montreal's Griffintown, Little Burgundy and St-Henri districts the new up-and-coming neighborhoods. Of course, (you guessed it!) ...we also talked about our wonderful vintage posters. Eve is passionate about the South-West, and is always excited to discover the places that make it such a unique part of town. We were glad to find out that we fit the bill! You can read what Eve had to say about her recent visit to L'affichiste by checking out her article at Quartier du Canal : Do like Eve and drop by for a visit, you'll be happy you did!

Happy Holidays from the L'affichiste team


Read More

Cappiello's Le Nil - Hear the Elephant Roar!

Posted by karen ETINGIN on December 14, 2011 0 Comments


We have just received three (three!!) copies of what is arguably Leonetto Cappiello's most famous poster - Le Nil. 

Stupendous, huge and vibrant, this poster illustrates (pardon the pun, I couldn't resist) all of Cappiello's hallmarks: it puts the product front and center in a way which is unforgettable (important, crucial even for advertisers in the Art Deco period and still now), it creates a link between the visual imagery and the name of the product (it would have been difficult to come up with a more potent image for the most mundane of products - rolling papers for cigarettes), and it has great colour.

We've had this poster before - and we have both the carton and tin with the same image - and it never fails to wow me. It will bring life and colour to any room, and its so strong, you can almost hear the elephant roar.

Just in time for the holidays - Cappiello's Nil.

Read More

Vintage Chocolate Posters @ L'Affichiste...

Posted by karen ETINGIN on December 13, 2011 0 Comments


It's 4pm and instead of reaching for the chocolate bar which I can see on the shelf in the kitchen, I will practice restraint and write about chocolate instead...

I just picked up these spectacular (and spectacularly affordable) vintage chocolate advertisements in Italy. Promoting Suchard - a a company begun in 1797 which was, by the end of the 19th century, the world's largest chocolate producer - they are colourful, sweet, and perfectly Art Deco. One shows roosters discovering chocolate eggs, another has a lovely illustration of Japanese lanterns, a third shows a quintet of girls enjoying the five varieties of chocolates produced by Suchard at the time, and the last depicts five boats - each named for a flavoured chocolate.

Another poster, for what I presume to be a precursor of Nutella, advertises a Creme au Chocolat which is 'always ready, always reliable, and easy to pour right on your plate' - and clearly the child who has partaken of this product has it all over his face!

These two posters - each roughly 48 x 62 inches - were produced for two French chocolate manufacturers. The Chocolat Fortin was done in the Art Deco period (note the vibrant colours), and the Pailhasson was produced about 20 years earlier - more muted colours, but no less powerful: clearly both boys want the chocolate, and they want it NOW!

And finally, we have a trio of chocolate labels, each quite perfect, and as a trio, we feel they would look great in a kitchen or restaurant.

OK, now that I've written this entry, I think I deserve a reward: chocolate!

Enjoy your holiday shopping, and don't forget to buy chocolate (or posters of chocolate!) for everyone on your list.


Read More

Vintage Chagall Posters @ L'Affichiste...

Posted by karen ETINGIN on December 10, 2011 1 Comment

Fun fact for Trivial Pursuit Fans: Marc Chagall's name, at birth: Moishe Shagal (who knew?)

Marc Chagall was arguably one of the most successful artists of the 20th century. Born in Russia is 1887, he was the eldest of nine children. His father was a herring merchant and his mother sold groceries from their home. Both were extremely pious, and it has been said that it was this early exposure to the Jewish religion that gave birth to Chagall's notably religious themes. It has been said that "Chagall's art can be understood as the response to a situation that has long marked the history of Russian Jews. Though they were cultural innovators who made important contributions to the broader society, Jews were considered outsiders in a frequently hostile society ... Chagall himself was born of a family steeped in religious life; his parents were observant Hasidic Jews who found spiritual satisfaction in a life defined by their faith and organized by prayer" (Susan Tumarkin, Marc Chgall: Early Works from Russian Collections).

Chagall was an early modernist who created works in virtually every artistic medium, inlcuding painting, book illustrations, stained galss, stage sets, ceramics,tapestries and fine art prints (wikipedia). Pablo Picasso is said to have remarked that "When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what colour really is."

Many of Chagall's early posters were printed by the Galerie Maeght - a gallery and printing house with important cultural traditions in France. Originally begun in Cannes in 1936, the Paris office of Maeght opened in 1946 and has been continually in family hands since then. Maeght, like Mourlot, another significant Parisian poster publishing house, is synonymous with elegance, refinement and style.

L'Affichiste is fortunate to have received a large collection of Chagall posters. Originally purchased in Paris, the posters are all in excellent condition. They include Chagall's Hommage a Louis Aragon, The Artist as Phoenix, L'Oiseau Vert and a limited edition poster of the Paris Opera House ceiling (which is framed).

All of these posters are available for sale on our site, and are currently being exhibited in our Montreal gallery.

Read More

Vintage Savignac Posters @ L'Affichiste

Posted by karen ETINGIN on December 05, 2011 0 Comments


Raymond Savignac, (who most often abbreviated his signature to "Savignac"), was a French graphic artist famous for his commercial posters.  He was born on November 6, 1907 in Pars and died on October 31, 2002 in Trouville sur Mer (in the province of Calvados) aged 94. His work is distinguished by a humorous simplicity.

Self-taught, he started designing posters under the direction of Cassandre (if you search our site for Cassandre you can't help but see his influence on Savignac) but developed a playful style which became all his own.

"Despite his dreams of becoming a professional cyclist, at the age of 15 Savignac decided to quit school and become a draftsman. HE spent a miserable time drawing and colouring bus maps for the Compagnie des Trsansports Parisiens. At this job he discovered caricature drawing thanks to one of his elder colegaures. For the little boy that he was, his parents cafe was an excellent place for observation. His evenings would be spent drawing the client and taking classes in industrial design. "I learned to smoke, play pool and lots of other things that were useless but that gave me a taste for frivolity. And it suited me very well..." 

Savignac’s posters are primarily a visual gag, causing attention in some way, either by curiosity or by laughter. His advertisements are not too intellectual. They are joyful, invigorating, simple, almost elementary. (

Years ago my friend and fellow poster maniac Marc Choko tried to show me these posters and I sniffed at them. I was still in my poster-snob period and thought that unless a poster was Art Deco, Art Nouveau or very well known, it wasn't a poster for me. I was wrong. These posters have great levity, fabulous design, and a certain joie de vivre that is Savignac's alone. Marc wrote a book about Savignac and his posters, and it is part of our library here at L'Affichiste.

These posters are available now in the gallery or through our shop at

In honour of the holidays and for an excuse to break out the wine, we are having a private sale at the gallery on Thursday, December 8 from 5-9pm. You are welcome to join us and see not only our Savignacs, but a variety of other great posters. Most pieces will be 15% off for this night only.

Happy holidays!

Read More

Vintage Montreal Posters @ L'Affichiste

Posted by karen ETINGIN on November 29, 2011 0 Comments

I am fortunate enough to have lived in a variety of places, but I have always called Montreal home. To me, there is no other city in the world which offers the joie de vivre, the complexity, the most definite and defined change of seasons, and the bilingual experience that Montreal offers. Although it is sometimes hard to remember in the depths of winter with plummeting temperatures and snowdrifts the size of small barns, Montreal is truly magnificent and stupendous ... even when it's -40 and the air is so cold it makes your nostrils freeze.

The history of Montreal is well documented in ephemera which spans hundreds of years. Maps, newspapers and posters have always abounded - in both French and English - in this city of mine, and we are fortunate to have amassed quite a collection of old paper which lays testament to this fact. Bear hunts, whiskey smugglers, visiting monarchy, it's all there in black and white (and sometimes hand painted colour) ... these items are waiting for a cold winters day to be listed (we are so very busy with Christmas!) but we thought we'd give you a sneak peek.

Of course, music, theater and politics have always played a role (pardon the pun) in Montreal's storied past, and our collection of posters (all listed in our shop) , are solid evidence of that.

I wouldnt live anywhere else - Montreal has it all. Check out our posters, and if you have a moment, look at the site - they have their fingers on the pulse of this great city, and report on it like no one else can. Kudos to them!

Read More

1 2 3 8 Next »