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Putting the new in art nouveau

October 16th, 2018

Armand A.L. Rassenfosse, Salon des Cent, 1896. Four colour lithograph on wove paper, Sheet: 64.9 x 46 cm. Gift of Katharine Lochnan, 2012.

Take a trip back to Paris in the Belle Époque, with our new collection of Art Nouveau posters from the Salon des Cent, now on view for the first time at the AGO on Level 1 in the John & Nancy Mulvihill Gallery, Gallery 127.

Le Salon des Cent, which translates to the Salon of One Hundred, was a commercial art exhibition organized by French literary magazine La Plume; it featured about 100 artists, hence the name. From 1893 to 1900, La Plume held 43 shows, with colourful posters, prints and reproductions of artwork on sale to the general public. Thanks to a generous donation from Ron and Maralyn Biderman the AGO has nearly a complete set of these beautiful posters.

Each show featured a unique artist-designed poster commissioned by the magazine – a selection of which are included in the AGO Collection. Artists invited to create posters include Alphonse Mucha, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Eugène Grasset. At the end of the 19th century, printcollecting was all the rage and posters were in huge demand, especially once the idea of the limited edition poster was introduced.

A highlight in our exhibition is artist Armand Rassenfosse’s poster from February 1896 for the 19th edition of the Salon des Cent. The poster depicts women, dressed in the latest fashions, looking at art. Although men were still the primary collectors, the poster shows the presence of female print collectors.

To learn more about the exhibition, we chatted with Alexa Greist, the AGO’s Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings. Watch the video below:

Alexa Greist, Assistant Curator Prints and Drawings, speaks about the posters of the Salon des cent currently on view on the ground floor.

Posted by AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario on Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Works on paper can only be exposed to light for limited periods of time, so Le Salon des Cents will only be on display until February 17. Don’t miss your chance to see it.

Le Salon des Cents is included in General Admission.

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