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Poster - Librairie Romantique
  • Librairie Romantique
    Grasset, Eugène, born 1841 - died 1917
  • Enlarge image

Librairie Romantique

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1887 (Designed and printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Grasset, Eugène, born 1841 - died 1917 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    colour lithograph on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs J.T. Clarke

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 514, case PR, shelf 149, box R

This poster belongs to a large collection assembled during the nineteenth century by Joseph Thatcher Clarke, whose wife, Agnes, gave the collection to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1921. Clarke was one of the first poster collectors and organised several exhibitions of these works at The Royal Aquarium in London. In the introduction to one of the exhibition's catalogues, Clarke showed great foresight when he proposed that the medium would hold enduring appeal and significance:

"The finest posters are, indeed, not only exemplars of artistic originality, beauty, and excellence in technique, but actual records of the daily life and interests of the age. From these documents the future historian may derive the fullest information concerning our food (physical and intellectual), our clothing, our diseases, and our remedies therefor - in short, concerning our vocations, our amusements, and our morals. What would not the archaeologist be willing to give for a set of such documents, relating, let us say, to Pericleian Athens or to Augustan Rome?"

Physical description

A young woman in a black dress with a white lace collar sits on a stack of books reading from a volume in her hands. Facing the woman, the moon rises over Notre Dame cathedral and a skull rests by her right foot.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


1887 (Designed and printed)


Grasset, Eugène, born 1841 - died 1917 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

colour lithograph on paper

Marks and inscriptions

E. Grasset
Signed lower right

E. Monnier & Cie Editeurs 7. Rue l'Odéon Paris.
Inscription on one of the books

J. Bognard Jne. 28, Bd de la contrescarpe, Paris
Right-hand side


Height: 1295 mm, Width: 920 mm

Object history note

The blank rectangle in the lower left-hand corner of the poster provided a space for supplementary information to be printed on to the work - e.g. information about different publications. A duplicate poster includes text in this space, advertising the publication of 'L'Age du Romantisme'.

Historical context note

The poster references the gothic horror literary genre that became so popular in the nineteenth century.

Descriptive line

Poster for 'Librairie Romantique' by Eugène-Samuel Grasset. France, 1887.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Coutts, Howard and Claire Jones Toulouse Lautrec and the art of the French Poster. Bowes Museum, 2004. 53 p., ill. ISBN 0954818202.


Lithographic ink; Paper


Colour lithograph; Planographic printing

Subjects depicted

Skull; Moon; Literature; Cathedral; Books; Horror


Prints; Posters


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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