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Normandie

  • Object:

    poster

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (printed)

  • Date:

    1935 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cassandre, born 1901 - died 1968 (designer)
    Alliance Graphique L. Danel (printer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph on paper backed on cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Purchase funded by V&A Members

  • Museum number:

    E.648-2017

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB2F, shelf DR111

This poster is arguably the most iconic work of Cassandre (1901-68) and the single best-known image of the Normandie ocean liner, which entered service with the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique in 1935. The Normandie was conceived as a showcase of French Art Deco design and technological prowess and it was the largest superliner ever built, even requiring the extension of piers. The simplicity and symmetry of Cassandre’s frontal view of the looming hull of the liner immediately conveys its gigantic scale and streamlined elegance. Cassandre developed a striking visual language inspired by avant-garde art in Paris and counts among the most important graphic artists of the 20th century.

Physical description

Portrait format poster showing a frontal view of the prow of the ship 'Normandie; the ship in black, white and red, with a blue sky and green sea. Lettered below with the ship's name in whhite and with details of the shipping route, its' class, etc.

Place of Origin

Paris (printed)

Date

1935 (printed)

Artist/maker

Cassandre, born 1901 - died 1968 (designer)
Alliance Graphique L. Danel (printer)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph on paper backed on cotton

Dimensions

Height: 100.5 cm sheet, Width: 62.5 cm sheet

Object history note

This poster comes with an excellent provenance. The Estampe Moderne & Sportive gallery acquired this poster from the estate of the illustrator and graphic artist René Bouvard (1910-2008) who worked for the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique in the mid to late 1930s and continued producing brochures and posters for the company after the war, joining the advertising department of the CGT in 1949. According to his daughter, René Bouvard met Cassandre when he was working for the CGT and they exchanged work with one another. He was given this poster by Cassandre.

Descriptive line

‘Normandie’ poster designed for the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique by Cassandre (Adolphe Mouron), 1935, printed by ALLIANCE GRAPHIQUE L. DANEL

Materials

Ink; Paper; Cotton

Techniques

Lithography

Subjects depicted

Ship; Ocean liner

Categories

Transport; Advertising

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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