Artist: Franz Laskoff Polish (1869-1921)
Title: E & A Mele
Plate: R. 34
Original lithograph from the "Ricordi Portfolio"
Printed in Italy 1914. View entire collection (70)
Presented in 16 in x 20 in acid free, archival museum mat, with framing labels. Ready to frame. Shipped boxed flat via Fedex.
Certificate of Authenticity.
Sheet Size: 10 in x 14 in 25.5 cm x 35.5 cm
"The gentleman is trying on an impeccably tailored coat in somber grey; to offset it, the background is a bright yellow. Without overstating the point, Laskoff sets a scene for Mele of utter elegance and refinement.
A portrait painter and landscapist, Laskoff (born Franz Laskowski in Bromberg, Germany) traveled in France, England and elsewhere, but most of his work was done in the early-1900s in Italy, where he proved that he could match the best graphic artists of his day. He produced about twenty posters, all of them very distinguished, in a style that was uniquely his own." (Rennert)
Several full size versions of Mele (department store) posters have sold in the $7000 to $20,000 price range during the 1990's. Most images are not seen in any other version today other than the Ricordi Portfolio, which itself has become very rare.
Not only did Mele, billed "the great Italian store of Naples" attract the country's finest posterists, but they have gone out of their way to provide their client with their very best designs. The elegant people who inhabit all Mele posters, with their seductive looks, well matched, delicately coloured outfits, and an overall poise normally associated with the upper class, became the role models of a new bourgeois awareness.
This is a selection from the very rare commemorative portfolio published by the renowned Italian printer Ricordi in 1914. The portfolio consisted of 70 lithographic plates (smaller versions) of Ricordi's greatest posters printed between 1895 and 1914. Many of the images in the series are so rare that they can be found today in no other format. In the 1870s, Ricordi opened an in-house lithography shop to promote its operas and sheet music business. Ricordi quickly became the leading lithographer in Italy and by 1895 was creating posters for other clients such as Campari, the Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera, and the Mele Department store of Naples. Under the tutelage of Adolfo Hohenstein, a brilliant stable of artists emerged at Ricordi. Artists including Cappiello, Caldanzano, Cavaleri, Dudovich, Laskoff, Metlicovitz and Mataloni brought Art Nouveau, known as Stile Liberty in Italy, to a world class level. Much like the famous Maitre de L'Affiche series created by Cheret in Paris, this portfolio celebrated the rise of the poster - which in Italy was almost single-handedly accomplished by Ricordi. (www.internationalposter.com)