I have a thing for vintage posters ...

I have a thing for vintage posters ...

I have a thing for vintage lithographic posters. The intensity of the colours used and the oddity of these prints hit me whenever I see them. I think they were effective ways of conveying an advertising message, they were real artworks which aim was that of showing the splendour of a lively period full of innovations and changes.
Lithography was invented in 1798, though it is in the 1880s that scientific progress made it had a real breakthrough, which allowed artists to achieve every color in the rainbow and print attractive posters to be used for modern advertising in the field of consumer products, entertainment, World's Fairs, Colonial Exhibitions as well as in the field of Politics. 
Among my favourite poster designers, Italian illustrator Leopoldo Metlicovitz definitely catches my attention for his works' distinctive dramatic style. And it’s not by chance that Italian poster designers hold the first places in my list, they created some of the most iconic lithographic advertising illustrations we can find out there and they made it between 1890 and 1950s (what we consider to be the golden age of advertising illustration).
 

Leopoldo Melcovitz (1868-1944) in his studio at the renowned typography "Officine G. Ricordi & C." in Milan, 1904

Leopoldo Melcovitz (1868-1944) in his studio at the renowned typography "Officine G. Ricordi & C." in Milan, 1904

Hall of machines at renowned typography "Officine G. Ricordi & C." in Milan. Thousands of iconic prints were made out of these machines.

Hall of machines at renowned typography "Officine G. Ricordi & C." in Milan. Thousands of iconic prints were made out of these machines.

Leopoldo Metlicovitz was born in Trieste (Italy) in 1868. He was a painter, illustrator, stage designer and advertising artist. Metlicovitz is considered one of the forerunners of Italian Futurism artworks and, together with Leonetto Cappiello, Adolf Hohenstein, Giovanni Maria Mataloni and Marcello Dudovich is one of the fathers of modern Italian poster design. 
He worked at the apprenticeship in lithography when he was just 14. He gained experience - with his first creations catching attention amongst insiders - and after having successfully completed his trainee, he was hired to work for the most renowned Italian typography of the time, the “Officine G. Ricordi & C.” in Milan. It was 1892 and it was the beginning of the golden period called the Belle Epoque, an era full of positivity, with economic and scientific growth  proudly shown off at world fairs. It is no surprise to see how advertising lithography reflects one of the most thriving periods in history, with poster designers being inspired by events of the time. The collaboration between Ricordi and Leopoldo Metlicovitz turned out to be a very prolific one, a 50-year long activity producing hundreds of iconic eye-catching posters embellishing streets walls around the globe. 

Fleurs de mousse, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1898

Fleurs de mousse, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1898

Distillerie Italiane, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1899

Distillerie Italiane, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1899

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1899

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1899

La Tosca di Giacomi Puccini, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1900

La Tosca di Giacomi Puccini, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1900

Alla Spezia, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1907

Alla Spezia, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1907

Esposizione Internazionale Milano (International Exposition of Milan),  Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1906

Esposizione Internazionale Milano (International Exposition of Milan),  Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1906

Giacomo Puccini "Madama Butterfly", Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1904

Giacomo Puccini "Madama Butterfly", Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1904

Mostra del Ciclo e dell'Automobile Milano (Milano motor show), Officine Ricordi & C.,  Leopoldo Metlicovitz, 1905

Mostra del Ciclo e dell'Automobile Milano (Milano motor show), Officine Ricordi & C.,  Leopoldo Metlicovitz, 1905

Liane Fleurie Sauzé Frères, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1911

Liane Fleurie Sauzé Frères, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1911

Sogno di un valzer (valzer dreaming), Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1910

Sogno di un valzer (valzer dreaming), Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1910

A. Ramos Pinto, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1915

A. Ramos Pinto, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1915

Luce e Calore, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1904

Luce e Calore, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1904

Tenore G. Anselmi, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1911

Tenore G. Anselmi, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1911

Hans le joueur de flute,  Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1907

Hans le joueur de flute,  Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1907

Lauris, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1911

Lauris, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1911

Gianni Schicchi, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1919

Gianni Schicchi, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1919

Melenis, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1912

Melenis, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1912

Mostra del Ciclo e dell'Automobile, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1907

Mostra del Ciclo e dell'Automobile, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1907

Cabiria, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1914

Cabiria, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1914

Concordia, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1907

Concordia, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1907

Ichnusa,  Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1910

Ichnusa,  Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1910

Esposizione Iternazionale di Torino (International Exposition of Turin), Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1911

Esposizione Iternazionale di Torino (International Exposition of Turin), Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1911

Tricofilina, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1908

Tricofilina, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1908

Superator Stufa a Gas d'alcool, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1908

Superator Stufa a Gas d'alcool, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1908

Fernet Branca pavillon at the International Exposition of Milan in 1906, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1906

Fernet Branca pavillon at the International Exposition of Milan in 1906, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1906

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, as well as his fellow poster designers of the time, were able to commute marketing ideas into striking art. Accent pieces placed in every boulevard for everyone to see and be influenced by their powerful colours and images. A focal point made to last, used by many people to decorate their homes. A collector’s on-of-a-kind. Vintage advertising posters are indisputably beautiful and that’s the main reason to their survival and great success amongst art collectors, even though their intended creation was as ephemera.

Depending by parameters such as condition, rarity, designer, topic, limited edition, popularity etc. vintage posters can cost a lot of money. However, visiting flea markets could be a great chance to find the deal and take home an accent piece of decoration!

Bottega della Gomma, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1923

Bottega della Gomma, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1923

La Tribuna, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1913

La Tribuna, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1913

Tobler , Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1914

Tobler , Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1914

Compagnia delle Opere Comiche e delle Operette, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1910

Compagnia delle Opere Comiche e delle Operette, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1910

Flouvella, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1910

Flouvella, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Officine Ricordi & C., 1910

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1900

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1900

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1898

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1898

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1900 ca

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1900 ca

La Lettura, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1906

La Lettura, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1906

Calzaturificio di Varese, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1914

Calzaturificio di Varese, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1914

S. Stein Vetements, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1910

S. Stein Vetements, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1910

San Pellegrino, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1921

San Pellegrino, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1921

Hans, Il Suonatore di flauto, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1907

Hans, Il Suonatore di flauto, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1907

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1900 ca

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1900 ca

Lotteria di Tripoli,  Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1937

Lotteria di Tripoli,  Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1937

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1900

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1900

Concorso delle Stazioni Fiorite, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1913

Concorso delle Stazioni Fiorite, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1913

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1909

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1909

Concordia Assicurazioni, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1905

Concordia Assicurazioni, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1905

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1900 ca

E&A Mele, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1900 ca

Bitter Pastore Milano, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1913

Bitter Pastore Milano, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1913

Impermeabili Ettore Moretti, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1921

Impermeabili Ettore Moretti, Leopoldo Metlicovitz,  Officine Ricordi & C., 1921

A 126 years old family Business

A 126 years old family Business

The George Grantham Bain Collection

The George Grantham Bain Collection