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Motocycles Comiot, Paris – Vintage poster – Theophile Alexandre STEINLEN – 1899

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Vintage poster Motocycles Comiot, Paris

Theophile Alexandre STEINLEN (Théophile-Alexandre)

1899

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Théophile Alexandre Steinlen's masterpiece, this advertising poster, for a tricycle made by the Motorcycles Comiot company and equipped with a De Dion motor, really left it's mark on the Belle Epoque.

She is bourgeoise, very chic, dressed in bright red and easily rides the tricycle in front of a couple of farm labourers, who, because of their lack of colour and drawn in olive green, receed into the background. A contrast which underlines the difference in social class of the rider and the modernity of the machine with the rural past of the background.

The particular choice of the artist to depict the rider of the tricycle as a city dweller in the country could be interpreted as a guarantee that it was easy to ride. 'Even a woman can ride in safety, without losing her lipstick and without getting dirty.'

While the tricycle and the rider are visually static, the frightened geese, darting in all directions and cackling, break the silence and create the image of speed.

Steinlen at the summit of his art and a major work from the Belle Epoque.


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