DIVAN JAPONAISSTRACK –1893/94

In this poster, strictly con­tem­po­rary of the pre­vi­ous two, Grün clearly shows his hand — it is a Grün “sil­hou­ette poster”, a genre that he cat­e­gor­i­cally claims as his own. The prin­ci­ple dates from XVI­I­Ith cen­tury when Eti­enne de Sil­hou­ette, in an effort at self-amusement, dreamed up a way to cover the walls of his château of Bry sur Marne with the shadow pro­files of his visitors.

Divan Japonais / Strack (1893/1894) 17x22" (43.5x56cm)  Imp, Formstecher, Paris

Divan Japon­ais / Strack (1893/1894)
17x22” (43.5x56cm)
Imp, Form­stecher, Paris

The shadow graph the­ater hav­ing revived this genre, one com­pre­hends the approach of young Grün, who not only asserts his stroke but also prac­tices his com­mand of the pos­si­ble effects of using just black and white. As far as Strack is con­cerned, he left no trace apart from this spell at the Divan Japon­ais where Yvette Guil­bert had her first tri­umphant suc­cess in 1891 (with a poster designed by Lautrec). Jehan Sar­razin, its bank­rupt owner, a shopkeeper-poet who offered olives to his cus­tomers, had just handed the estab­lish­ment over to Edmond Fournier who fea­tured qual­ity shows for the next two years.

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