|Absinthe Posters VII - Original Artwork and Proofs
A recent discovery - two preliminary sketches (or maquettes) in ink, pastel and watercolour for one of the most famous of all
absinthe posters, Absinthe Blanqui's smiling redhead, printed sometime between 1898 and 1901. The printer was L.Revon et
Cie, situated in Paris at 93 Rue Oberkampf. The artist's signature "Nover" is a mystery - no designer by that name is recorded.
Since however the word is a palindrome of Revon, the assumption must be that the artist was Revon himself, or alternatively an
anonymous employee of the firm. The same artist was responsible for the well-known Absinthe Vichet poster, also printed by
Revon et Cie.
The often reproduced Absinthe Blanqui poster
- a quintessential art-nouveau image, heavily
influenced by the then fashionable vogue for
orientalism. The original is rare, with only three
surviving copies recorded.
Reproductions of this poster - and of most of
the other posters shown here - can be bought
at our CafePress store.
Click on the image to see an enlarged version.
See also the Absinthe Blanqui "zanzibar".
From the first maquette comes the design of the
frame, the basic position of the girl's head, and
the configuration of her fingers holding the glass.
Format: 49 x 32cm
The second maquette has the girl in profile,
gazing upwards at the glass of absinthe. She
is facing left rather than right as in the poster,
but her green dress, the sinuous green
ribbons surrounding her and the serpent clasp
around her arm are all echoed in the final
The position of the girl's head and the design
of her hair in this sketch are reminiscent of
Privat-Livemont's 1896 poster for Absinthe
Robette, and it is possible that this was
modified in the final version specifically so that
the Blanqui poster did not too closely
resemble Privat-Livemont's design.
Format: 49 x 32cm
Advertising carton for Oranginette
designed by Nover in similar style.
|Click here to buy a reproduction print of this sketch.
|Move cursor over the link bars to see contents.
|This website and all its contents Copyright 2002- 2007 Oxygenee Ltd.
No pictures or text may be reproduced or used in any form without written permission of the site owner.
Preliminary sketches (or maquettes) in coloured inks, watercolour or oil crayon form a fascinating adjunct to the history
of the poster, allowing us to see the artist's first thoughts, and the gradual development of the final design. Generally
before the design was transferred to the polished limestone blocks for printing.
man, based on Molière's comic doctor
Diafoirus, is chasing a not entirely reluctant
redhead with a plunging neckline around a
At right: An original oil-crayon and watercolour
maquette. The colours are broadly similar to
the final printed version, except for the letters
in "Absinthe Parisienne" which are blue here,
and clear in the printed poster.
Below: A printed proof in black and white.
Click on the images to enlarge.
Format: 120 x 82cm