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Maurice Realier-Dumas
15 3/4'' x 11 3/8''

Original chromo-lithograph from Les Maîtres de l'Affiche, Plate 23.

By the end of the 19th century, the fruits of the Industrial Revolution had transformed the everyday lives of Europeans and Americans alike. Bedazzled by brighter gaslights, the first communication devices and the taming of electricity, an optimistic future shines forth from the advertisements of the period. These powerful and uncertain forces are negotiated visually with a return to mythical design motifs drawing from ancient Grecian and Roman styles as well as natural elements. In their harnessing of energy and invention, this age of technological progress saw itself as heir to the great civilizations of the past.

This poster celebrates the modern invention of gas lighting by invoking ancient imagery. The Grecian woman solemnly lights a gas lamp, as if part of a religious ceremony. The ancient mosaic spelling out the firm’s Paris address reinforces this.

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