A Tale of Two Frou Frous

Dealing in original vintage posters is, admittedly, a very fulfilling job. Our line of work allows us insight into our customers lives; helping them pick out the perfect poster for their homes often involves learning about their families, jobs, and forging friendships. We love our everyday routine here in the gallery, but that isn’t to say that every once in awhile things can become especially exciting…

We have had our beloved Frou Frou poster by Weiluc here in the gallery for while, and it is a knockout. Printed in 1900 for French magazine Frou Frou, it is one of the most highly prized posters in existence. The artist, Lucien Henri Weil, worked under the pseudonym Weiluc and produced very few posters in his career. Done in a sensually muted color palette, unique in a period full of bright yellow and red can-can posters, the central figure blows out a ring of smoke that spells out the magazine’s title. It is simply the most entrancing of posters. Due to the unique color scheme and beautiful imagery, Le Frou Frou has become an exceptionally rare and highly sought after poster. It only appears at international auction once or twice in a decade, and when it does it causes a frenzy. We have ours framed in the most luscious of hand-carved frames, and every client that walks into the gallery can do nothing but stop and stare at its beauty.

While we love our large scale Frou Frou (the poster measures 47″ x 63″ without the frame), we have recently added an exciting counterpart that makes it that much more exciting. Sourced by gallery owner Mickey Ross, our most recent addition is an aquatint etching by Weiluc. Much more diminutive in size (19.25″ x 26″ unframed), this hand-printed and hand-colored print was done about five years after the famous Frou Frou poster.

Admittedly, there is little to no history to be found behind this piece, lending that much more to the allure and mystery of these two knockout pieces. From what we can surmise, Weiluc decided to recycle the image he conjured for Frou Frou in smaller dimensions and without text to sell as a fine art print. Where the Frou Frou poster was printed in the traditional stone lithography manner, this print was created on a copper plate using the etching technique known as aquatint, and a coloring technique called a la poupee. Where the large Frou Frou was made for mass-production, this etching differs in that each one had to be carefully printed by hand, one at a time.

Both are incredible examples of Belle Epoque styling and work wonderfully on their own, but as a pair they are simply breathtaking.

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