(77cm x 109cm)
There are certain poster images that transcend the medium in their beauty and importance; this is one such piece. Absinthe Robette by Henri Privat-Livemont is acknowledged as one of the truly exceptional examples of Art Nouveau, an art movement popular during the Belle Epoque period of which there are very few true examples of in poster form. A classical red-haired beauty, likely meant to represent a muse, holds up the perfectly poured glass of Absinthe Robette for offering and admiration. Her copper-tinged tendrils curl like waves, mimicking the decorative floral swirling patterns that create the background of the image. Her face is framed by a circle meant to symbolize the moon, and her bare body is only slightly concealed by her sheer chemise. The absinthe itself is a thing of beauty, properly prepared with a special perforated spoon resting atop the glass, with a sugar cube on top. Water pours down onto the sugar cube from the heavens and off the page, mixing with the Absinthe Robette in cloudy swirls inside the glass.
Absinthe is a high-alcohol content, anise-flavored spirit made from wormwood, anise, fennel, and a wider assortment of other herbs. It was first developed in the late 18th century, but rose to peak popularity in Belle Epoque era of bohemian Paris. It became so popular among all social classes that by the 1860s five o'clock was referred to as, "l'heure verte", or "the green hour"; a reference to the common green color of the spirit. Its psychoactive and hallucinogenic qualities, pared with the difficulty in controlling those elements in the bottling process, made it a quite dangerous drink at the time and by 1915 it was banned in the United States and much of Europe.
Henri Privat-Livemont (1861 - 1936) was a Belgian-born artist who began his career in interior design, which helps explain how he was able to bring Art Nouveau into the world of poster design. Unlike his contemporary, Alphons Mucha, Privat-Livemont worked in poster design for only a small portion of his career before turning to fine art painting, making his posters extremely scarce on the market today. Art Nouveau was an art movement in vogue for the small period of time from the 1880s until the outbreak of WWI. Deeply informed by nature, it focused on abstracted organic patterns and decorative forms as a break from the increased streamlining and hard lines of industrial design. It is often associated with other similar movements of the time in painting, furniture design, and literature like the Arts and Crafts, Symbolism, and Aesthetics movements.
This is an Original Vintage Poster. It is not a reproduction. This poster is conservation mounted, linen backed and in excellent condition. We guarantee the authenticity of all of our posters.
We ship internationally and insure all deliveries. Learn about our methods for shipping & more.
See answers to our most common questions, here
Looking to Sell?
Looking to Sell?
We are always interested in acquiring special pieces. Let's get in touch!
What Does 'Original' Mean?
We only deal in original vintage posters, never reproductions. This means that every poster is from the original print run, in the year listed in the description. Everything we sell comes with an individually signed certificate of authenticity, which we fully guarantee.
If there's anything you want to know about posters, vintage or more modern, there's nothing Mr Ross doesn't know. His open and friendly manner helps one to choose the most suitable material whether for decoration, investment or whatever... I can't recommend him highly enough.
Just wanted to say thanks for the poster. You sent it on Thursday and it was delivered the following Monday (nearly quicker than it took us to get home) to our house in Perth, Australia. We have just had it framed. We love it; it goes perfectly with the room.
- Kasia & David
The Ross Gallery has the best selection of vintage posters I have ever seen. Seriously, if you are in the market, they are the people. And, they know everything there is to know about the posters' provenance.