Ch. Loupot 1892 - 1962
Ch. Zagrodzki, with an introduction by Jean-Marie Loupot; Le cherche midi editeur; 23, rue Cherche-Midi, F-75006 Paris (F) (1998); also available from Posters Please Inc.; 128 pages, about 200 color reproductions, 28 x 23 cm, hardcover; ISBN 2-86274-606-1; in french; 220 FF (about 40 US$)
The cover is based on a 1925 poster by Loupot for the Cecil shoe company in Paris
When Charles Loupot finished art school in Lyon in 1913, the first wave of french poster art was already history. Toulouse-Lautrec had died in 1901, Alfonse Mucha had left Paris, Eugene Grasset was almost forgotten, Cheret was reported to be fed up with designing posters. There was yet no indication of a second, equally strong wave, and that Loupot would be one of it's leading figures, together with Cassandre, Carlu and Colin.
His beginnings, in Lausanne, Switzerland, were quite humble. In those times, clients often ordered their posters from a printer, who would in turn get suitable designs from artists. Apparently nobody was bothered when the same picture was used for two or even three different clients, and so we have, in 1917, an identical Loupot poster for a fashion shop in Lausanne and a department store in Lucerne.
However, Loupot's talent soon became obvious, and the number of commissions he received after 1918 for fashion and luxury goods makes it clear that his elegant and colorful designs were well sought after. By 1923 his reputation had reached Paris and he left Lausanne.
There, his success continues and he wins the competition for a poster for the famous Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs in 1925, that coined the name Art Deco for the style of french art and design between the wars. He cooperates with Cassandre and Carlu, and in 1937 begins to redesign the logo for the aperitif St. Raphael. To this day, the characteristic font can still be seen all over France. The poster market has also recognized Loupot's worth: In 1995 for example, the Raoul Citroen poster shown below was sold for 10450 US$ by Poster Auctions Intl.
The author of the book, Christophe Zagrodzki, art historian and former curator of the Musee de l'Affiche in Paris, points out that Loupot was a perfectionist in his art, working long and hard on posters that in the end look easy, pleasant, lighthearted. The same is true of Zagrodzki's book. It is a catalogue raisonne, listing and commenting all of 123 Loupot's posters, many of his unpublished works, scetches and illustrations, has an extensive bibliography, and in addition recounts Loupot's life and work in such a fascinating way that I read it in one stroke. The book is so appealing that you are hardly aware of the many years of painstaking work that went into it, and indeed, the list of persons whom Zagrodzki contacted for his research is a veritable who's who of poster experts, including Loupot's family.
Poster for the swiss fashion house Grieder
specializing in silk clothes
Poster for Raoul Citroen motor oil
which is packaged in three different sizes
Poster for Valentine paint
that dries in 4 hours
Poster for Coty perfume
Poster for St. Raphael aperitif
the drink is available in a red and a white version
I enjoyed reading this useful and beautiful book!
And became so fascinated with Loupot posters that I searched the web and
found lots of them,
many at the Musee de la Publicite in Paris:
But remember, they are all in Zagrodzki's book.