Monday, January 17, 2011

Pinup Postcards in Paris!

My new found obsession with the magazine La Vie Parisienne has certainly been well documented, but as wondrous a tool as the internet is, it has its limitations. I spent a lot of time trying to find some images from the magazine by its most popular illustrator, Raphael Kirchner. It was incredibly difficult to identify the source of the many illustrations, so I pretty much left him off my posts. He's most famous for creating an untold number of pinup postcards which were extremely popular with soldiers during the Great War.

He worked along side other luminaries like Alphonse Mucha, and achieved a huge amount of popularity in his adopted home of Paris. Overall, I think his work is charming and happy, and I think I like the idea of these being the sort of pictures lonely young men look at. I guess I'm a total prude, and though I believe people should do whatever makes them happy, I find the state of the world with its constantly available internet porn, a little depressing. Kirchner used his wife as his model for all of his postcards and for most of his illustrations, and I find that sweet.

When the war broke out in 1914 he emigrated to NYC, where he worked for Flo Ziegfeld and various magazines, including Metropolitan. I've featured him earlier as he painted Olive Thomas several times, once for the cover of the Midnight Frolic program, and at least once more as a part of a series of scantily clad Ziegfeld girls called "Pierrot's Dream" which were displayed in the lobby of the New Amsterdam Theater.

Sadly, he died (fairly) young in 1917. After his demise, his beloved wife descended into madness and drug addiction.

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