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Champagne is Art

Champagne is Art
Written by Aksel Ritenis
Champagne is Art Champagne is synoymous with celebrating. It comes in many styles, but true champagne comes only from the region of the same name. The very name “Champagne” denotes celebration. We serve it at weddings to celebrate newlyweds. We launch ships with it, not to mention bringing in the New Year!
By the 1870’s Paris was a gaudy mélange of posters; they were pasted to kiosks, train stations, buildings, carriages and pissoirs. They advertised everything: sport­ing and cultural events, new products, political protests, book publications and beautiful women.
In France, the poster quickly became an art form.


LA BELLE EPOCH 1890-1914

Champagne poster - Joseph Perrier “The beautiful time”, and the height of French poster fever and fashion. In 1891 Toulouse-Lautrec’s first poster, Moulin Rouge, boosted the status of the poster from ephemera to fine art. Posters took over the cities of Europe, with subjects that varied from country to country. In France, the café was the center of life. Some Parisians ate three times a day at cafés, where they drank and people watched with their meals. Absinthe, champagne and other alcoholic beverages were the main advertising topics.

Cheret’s color stone lithography laid the groundwork for the modern poster, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec brought it to the forefront in the 1890’s. His bold compositions, simple incisive lines, and expert use of angles and perspectives intro­duced a whole new style in poster art. Toulouse-Lautrec and his artist followers made obvious statements in their poster designs.
Belle Epoch poster art was again influenced by a new style: Art Nouveau. Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) literally wrote the book on “Documents Decoratif.” Every component of this style is seen in Mucha’s art: elaborate, nature-themed ornamentation; idealized female subjects; fine drawing and the use of symbolism and allegory.

Mucha also became affiliated with several elite beverage com­panies. His poster for Ruinart, the first champagne company, featured an elegance demure young woman, seemed to per­sonify elegance except for her hair, which had taken on a life of its own. This out of control coiffure hinted the “heady” effects of Champagne Ruinart. Mucha’s lovely poster girls often told much about the poster, with their hair.

Champagne poster MauzanIn addition to Champagne Ruinart, Moet and Chandon rec­ognized Mucha’s artistic and advertising genius and hired him to create all of their commercial designs. He also made a variety of posters for cognac and Benedictine.

Champagne has featured prominently in popular culture for over a century, due in part to a long history of effectivemarketing and product placement by leading Champagne houses and their representatives, such as CIVC.

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Aksel Ritenis

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