Size: 7.5 x 9.5 inches
Artist: Xavier Gosé
The Gazette du Bon Ton, put out by the retailer of the same name, was considered the trendsetting magazine of the era. Founded by Lucien Vogel and targeting Paris's upper class, it ran from 1912-1925. Only ten colour plates were printed per issue, and artists vied for the prestige of illustrating the latest Parisian fashion and lifestyle trends. As these pochoirs attest, the high style and iconic femininity made the items featured in the pages "must have's" -- right down to the foot cushion!
This pochoir - created when single layers of color are added by hand to a lithograph using a stencil - is plate 63 from the seventh issue published in July 1914. It shows a woman in casino outfit (the combination of lampshade tunic over harem pants was a silhouette created by French couturier Paul Poiret) illustrated by Xavier Gosé (signed J. Gosé). From behind her fan, she coyly asks: "Suis-je belle ce soir?" - "Am I beautiful tonight?"
Gosé (1876-1915) was a Spanish painter, illustrator, engraver, and caricaturist, and one of the leaders of modernism. Born into a family of farmers, he discovered illustration from his art teacher José Luis Pellicer. After contributing numerous works to Spanish periodicals, he flew to Paris in 1900 for the World Expo. Once in France, his ink illustrations - delicately touched-up by hand with fine watercolours - appeared in the best French magazines and journals: Le Rire, L'Assiette au beurre, Cocorico, La Vie Parisienne, and of course Gazette du bon ton.