We’re kicking off a new series—the Travel Poster of the Month—where we’ll showcase some of the travel posters you’ll find at Grand Circle Gallery. There is something about travel posters that has always appealed to us. Part of it is nostalgia. They are reflective of an exciting time when the world seemed like a bigger place, yet was becoming ever more accessible.
But it’s more than that. These posters depict iconic destinations and fascinating cultures with an artistic eye, giving our imaginations room to roam. Both advertising and art, they allow travel to be what we imagine it to be: not only a destination, but an aspiration.
Every month, we’ll pick a new one to highlight, providing some background on the piece itself as well as the era and region in which it was created.
We hope you like them as much as we do!
Alan & Harriet
July 2013: Hte Engadine, Chemins de Fer de ‘Est
Hugo d’Alesi • c. 1900 • Trains Rapides / Billets Circulaires a Prix Reduits
The broad majority of early travel posters are by unknown artists, many of whom worked for printing houses or railroads. The first artist to rise above the crowd was a landscape painter born in Romania named Hugo d’Alesi. D’Alesi arrived in Paris in 1867 and created his first poster in 1882. By the late 1880s he began to specialize in travel posters, creating more than 100 for several French railroads.
This beautiful poster is typical of his mature style, which featured pastoral, Victorian views executed in pastel tones to simulate watercolor. As his style matured, the central illustration became more dominant, with small subsidiary panels receding in importance around the edges until about 1900 they all but disappear.
Chemin de Fer de l’Est served eastern France, connecting Paris to Basel, Zurich and Chur. At the time of this poster, in order to reach the Haute Engadine and its most famous resort, St. Moritz, shown here on Lake St. Moritz, passengers had to take a 15-hour stagecoach ride over the mountains. In 1904, the Rhaetian Railway completed the Albula Tunnel, bringing the railroad to St. Moritz, spurring its development as an international resort.
© Jim Lapides, International Poster Gallery
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