Visitez la France


Visit france, french touristic posters

affiches touristiques de France

“Visitez la France.” With this title the SNCF (Société nationale des chemins de fer français - national french railway company) started in 1946 an advertising poster campaign to revive tourism after the Second World War. The most beautiful landscapes of France thus came to life under the brushes of famous artists.

Visitez la France, Alpes, prenez la SNCF

1952 – SAINDRE

CHF 980.–

A few years later, the Ministry of Transport and Tourism began its own campaign entitled simply “France”, made of photographic posters.

France, Paris, Place Vendôme

1947 circa – RENÉ-JACQUES

CHF 720.–

Tourism didn't wait the after war to develop. It was born in the 19th century thanks to the development of transportation. From the 1890s, in order to attract travellers, French railway companies wanted to make the beauties of France known. Thousands of so-called "travel" posters ("affiches de voyage") were then put up in stations, travel agencies and even on Transatlantic liners. For 130 years, the art of travel poster has never ceased to evolve, to make people dream and to invite them to travel.


Italiensk Kunst 1910 - 1935, Louisiana

1969 – Giorgio DE CHIRICO (after)

CHF 430.–

the belle epoque

During the second half of the 19th century, the development of transportation enabled a strong increase in tourism in Europe. Timetables decorated with small black and white engravings were displayed in railway stations.

Chemin de fer du Nord, Saison d'été.

1890 circa – JAPHET


As early as 1890, the railway companies put up the first real travel posters. Printed in lithography, they invited travellers to visit a historical site or a bucolic landscape, in a naturalistic and poetic style.

Le Tréport, Casino Municipal

1895 circa – Henri GRAY

CHF 1650.–

Station thermale Lamalou-les-Bains. Chemin de fer PLM d'Orléans et du Midi

1895 circa – M. PALLANDRE

CHF 1090.–

These posters were harmonious compositions of several views of a region, folklorique characters, a timetable or a map, often decorated with gold frames and floral motives typical of the Belle Epoque style.

Belle Epoque >

Allevard les Bains, P.L.M. , Isère

1900 circa – Frédéric HUGO D'ALESI

CHF 1390.–

Le Lac d'Annecy, PLM

1905 circa – Frédéric HUGO D'ALESI

Frédéric Alexianu, known as F. Hugo d'Alési, was the most prolific creator of travel posters during the Belle Epoque. His harmonious compositions, superbly printed in lithography, depicted picturesque scenes in enchanting landscapes.

Frédéric Hugo d'Alési >
Biography >

Brides-les-Bains et Salins-Moutiers, billets à prix réduits

1900 circa – Henri TANCONVILLE

CHF 1240.–

In the same style, Henri Garnier, known as Henri Tanconville, designed a series of very fine posters.

Littoral de la Méditterranée, PLM

1905 circa – Henri TANCONVILLE


Chemins de Fer de Paris Lyon Méditerranée, Grottes et Cascades de Baume

1900 circa – Henri TANCONVILLE

CHF 1240.–

P.L.M. Sail Les Bains par St. Martin d'Estréaux

1910 circa – Henri TANCONVILLE

CHF 970.–

At the turn of the century, a different approach to the travel poster emerged, as graphic designers gained a better understanding of advertising mechanisms.From then on, a single image with a shorter text became the norm, such as in the works of Géo Dorival and Constant Duval, giving a better clarity to the posters.

Château d'Amboise

1913 – Geo DORIVAL

CHF 1170.–

Luchon, Chemin de Fer d'Oléans et du Midi

1910 circa – Constant DUVAL

CHF 1220.–

Royat, Auvergne

1911 – Geo DORIVAL

CHF 940.–

PLM, Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée

Vichy, Chemins de fer PLM, Billets à prix réduits

1900 circa – PLOZ

CHF 2760.–

Founded in 1857, the PLM - the Paris to Lyon and Méditerranée Railway Company - was the largest of the private French railway companies. It served Lyon, the French Riviera, Switzerland, Venice… and even offered trips from Paris to Constantinople or London to Baghdad. Until 1937, the PLM printed hundreds of magnificent posters, which are now highly collectible.

Route des Alpes Massif de l'Oisans

1912 – René PÉAN

CHF 1360.–

PLM, Mont Blanc, Chamonix

1905 circa – H.J.


Chemin de fer d'Orléans et du midi, Carcassonne

1930 circa – E.Paul CHAMPSEIX

CHF 1130.–

Chemin de fer d' Orléans, la Creuse

1907 – Coulange LAUTREC


Five private railway companies shared the French market: the PLM, Chemins de fer d’Orléans et du Midi, Chemins de fer du Nord, Chemin de fer de l’Est and Chemin de fer de l’Ouest. These companies merged in 1937 to create the SNCF.

Chemins de fer de l'Ouest, voyages à prix réduits, Normandie Bretagne et Ile de Jersey.

1895 circa – Gustave FRAIPONT

CHF 850.–

Sens, chemin de fer PLM

1905 – Henri POLART


Laon, L'une des plus ancienne ville de France

1910 circa – CAROT

CHF 1160.–

Chemins de Fer de l'Etat, La Bretagne Pittoresque, Lannion

1929 – Maurice TOUSSAINT

CHF 1630.–

paid holidays

In June 1936, the members of the French Popular Front voted a law imposing two weeks of paid holidays. It was a revolution for the working class. Before this law, holidays were the prerogative of the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy.

5 billets, 10 voyageurs, formez un groupe!

1936 – Roland HUGON

CHF 970.–

From the end of July 36, all French employees were entitled to paid holidays. They were more than 600,000 to go on holiday that year, and three times as many the following year.

SNCF, Joyeux week-end, Billets de week-end avec 40% de réduction

1938 – Jean JACQUELIN

CHF 690.–

Lys-Chantilly, Plage Boran sur Oise

1935 circa – Robert FALLOT


The swimming pools and beaches around Paris enjoyed a tremendous success. The “tout-Paris" rushed to Lys-Chantilly, on the edge of the Chantilly forest, or took special trains named "La Plage” to L'Isle-Adam, the largest river beach in France.

Oise >
Île-de-France >

L'Isle Adam

1930 circa – Léon BLOT

CHF 1940.–

Divonne les Bains

1934 – Jean JANIN


In the summer of 1936, the French visited their family in the countryside. The main type of transport was still the bicycle! The introduction of reduced train tickets for paid holidays made it easier to go on vacation.

Divonne les Bains


1929 – André GALLAND

CHF 1570.–

In 1937, employees from the Paris region flocked to the beaches of Normandy, while the rest of France visited the Paris World’s Fair.

Plages du débarquement en Normandie, SNCF

1947 – Albert BRENET

CHF 720.–

art deco posters

From the 1920s, poster artists abandoned the romanticism and the arabesques of the Art Nouveau period in favour of straight lines, geometric and monumental forms borrowed from Cubism and Futurism. Extreme stylisation, dynamic compositions and perspectives, and a reduced palette of bright colours characterised this new graphic language. The posters were embracing the Art Deco.

affiche touristique de france

Côte d'Azur, partez PLM, le pays de votre rêve est au bout de votre nuit

1937 – Roland HUGON


Paris, Edité par les Grands Réseaux de Chemins de Fer Français

1935 circa – Robert FALCUCCI

CHF 1360.–

Boulogne sur Mer, Phare de la digue Carnot

1930 circa – Gustave UMBDENSTOCK


Chemin de fer à crémaillère de Chamonix au Montenvers

1954 – Roger SOUBIE


Les Gorges du Tarn, Chemins de fer du Midi

1930 circa – E.Paul CHAMPSEIX

CHF 1250.–


1936 – A. MOLUGGON

CHF 830.–

In 1937, at the instigation of the French government, the five private railway companies merged and founded the SNCF.The old PLM format, 78 x 108 cm, was abandoned in favour of the international tourist format, 64 x 102 cm.

Roger Broders

the 50's

bernard villemot


Samivel, who's real name was Paul Gayet-Tancrède was a watercolorist, graphic designer and illustrator who specialised in mountain scenes. He wrote several novels and illustrated numerous literary editions by François Villon, Rabelais, De la Fontaine, Swift ou Ramuz...

He often drew tiny alpenists who seemed "lost" in the vastness of the mountains. His watercolors and posters were impregnated with the silence and poetry of Alpen landscapes.

Chamonix, Réserve naturelle des Contamines, Montjoie, Massif du Mont-Blanc

1985 circa – SAMIVEL


Du Léman à la Méditerranée, La grande traversée des Alpes françaises

1980 circa – SAMIVEL


Savoie, Le Mont-Blanc des Hauts de Megève

1985 circa – SAMIVEL


photographic posters

At the beginning of the 1950s, the Ministry of Transport and Tourism used the talents of great photographers such as Karl Machatschek, Jacques Dubois and Philippe Fronval. First in black and white, then in colour, the most beautiful landscapes and greatest historical monuments are reproduced in this series of posters simply entitled "France”.

France, Le théâtre antique d'Orange

1950 circa – BOUDOT-LAMOTTE

CHF 520.–

France, Grotte de Lascaux

1950 circa – WINDELS

CHF 540.–

Photography increasingly replaced drawing in the creation of travel posters. As printing in lithography required several weeks of work, a much more economical process, the offset printing, soon replaced it.

Paris, Du haut de Notre-Dame

1955 circa – NIEPCE

CHF 670.–

Vacances en Europe par Air France

1963 – J. BULTE

CHF 920.–



CHF 820.–

These series of photographic posters depict Provence, the French Riviera, Brittany, Chamonix and Mont-Blanc, and of course Paris!

France, Côte d'Azur, Nice

1958 circa – TRUBERT

CHF 890.–

France, Royan, Charente maritime


CHF 490.–

Paris, Ville-lumière, La place de la Concorde

1960 – Ervin MARTON

CHF 870.–

France, Chamonix Mont-Blanc

1960 – G. TAIRRAZ


Alpes, SNCF

1960 – MOLINA

CHF 640.–

Riviera Côte d'Azur

1955 circa – WILLY RONIS

CHF 540.–

France, Notre-Dame de Paris

1956 – Jacques DUBOIS

CHF 520.–

Pays Nantais, Danses Folkloriques

1958 circa – KARQUEL

CHF 430.–

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