Introduction

Jules-Alexandre Grün as a Poster Designer

This is the first blog ever writ­ten about Jules-Alexandre Grün as a poster designer and it is well deserved.

Nearly all of the over 100 posters designed by Grün dur­ing the course of his life­time are repro­duced here and attest to the unques­tion­able tal­ent of this out­stand­ing artist.

Jules Alexandre Grün 1868-1938

Jules Alexan­dre Grün 1868–1938

Most of these posters bear wit­ness to the atmos­phere pre­vail­ing in Mont­martre dur­ing the hey­days of the Belle Epoque; a neigh­bor­hood where artists and singers, rev­ellers crav­ing for love affairs, as well as mem­bers of the High-Society would min­gle, all drawn to it by its quasi-inexhaustible choice of plea­sures pro­vided by the bals, the cabarets and the con­certs. Grün , bet­ter than no one else, was able to depict, thanks to his tarts, his ageing-beaux and his police­men, what took place dur­ing these wild times.

Grün started as a painter before becom­ing an illus­tra­tor for sev­eral Parisian mag­a­zines. Liv­ing in Mont­martre, in the heart of Paris’ bohemian quar­ter he rapidly became the heart and soul of its merry life and a fre­quent guest at the local cafes and bars where their own­ers were quick to com­mis­sion posters to adver­tise their estab­lish­ments and the revues they presented.

By using two basic col­ors, black and red, Grün gave birth, although this was never for­mally acknowl­edged, to a def­i­nitely mod­ern style of graph­ics. He does not fol­low the Japan­ese influ­ence pre­vail­ing at the time ־ he aims at find­ing a spe­cific graphic vocab­u­lary to suit his poster designer require­ments ־ and will be among the first ones to succeed.

It gives us tremen­dous plea­sure to present this book on Jules-Alexandre Grün, an impor­tant artist who undoubt­edly may be con­sid­ered as one of the pio­neers of the mod­ern poster. We believe that you will derive as much plea­sure from read­ing this book as we did in com­pil­ing and pub­lish­ing it ■

Dr. Israel Perry