Les costumes grotesques


Nicolas de Larmessin II (ca. 1638-1694), Habit d’Imprimeur en Lettres (The Printer’s Costume), ca. 1680. Engraving. Graphic Arts GA 2007.04409.

This copper plate engraving is from Les costumes grotesques et les metiers or the Fancy Trade Costumes series. In the series, over 70 artisans are dressed in the materials of their occupation, in this case the tools of a printer.

Nicolas de Larmessin II is one member of a family of printmakers and booksellers, many with the same name, leading to much confusion in attributing their work. The family had their own publishing house in Paris, where they designed and printed books, prints, calendars, and other popular works on paper.

To see more of Larmessin’s work, look at: Les avgvstes representations de tovs les roys de France depvis Pharamond ivsqv’a Lovys XIIII: dit Le Grand, a present regnant, 1679: auec vn abrège historique sous chacun, contenant leurs naissances, inclinations et actions plus remarquables pendant leurs regnes (Paris: Bertrand, 1679). Engraved portraits of the Kings of France. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2008-0170Q


Dear Sir.
I'm a writer. See internet news about my last book (Not only Erté -Costume designs for the Paris Music-Hall 1918 1940). I'm now nearly ready to publish the biography of Charles Gesmar. It includes reproduction of all his graphic works (55 posters, 35 program and magazine covers end many costume designs. I need a photo at high resolution of Gesmar design included in PAN, Annuaire du Luxe by Poiret (I have one at too low resolution). Can you help me? I'll give you full credit in the book. I'm prepared to pay the cost. I'll appreciate very much your courtesy.
Best regards

A. Luerti

My book "Charles Gesmar 1900-1928", an absolute novelty (500 copies), wishes to honour Gesmar, one of the costume and poster designers among the most creative and most innovative of the XX century who, because of lack of information which is now available, was unjustly neglected by the theatre and art critics.
His 60 posters and 50 program/book covers, decidedly more than we had imagined (and of which 60% is unedited), are placed in the worthy tradition of graphic works of two other major artists who worked for the Moulin Rouge, Toulouse-Lautrec and Rene Gruau.

Jean Cocteau was his great admirer «Vous êtes un nom fulgurant sur un mur.»

Despite his exclusive relationship with Mistinguett, Gesmar produced posters for many other stars such as Spinelly, Marnac, E. Leslie, Raimu, Barbette, Falconetti, Pierly, St. Granier, Popesco etc. thus demonstrating his undoubted talent.

My research began with the examination of hundreds of theatre programs (including those of German and Austrian theatres), newspapers and magazines of the period. Meanwhile, having identified his real surname, I have been able to trace his nephews and gain access to many different sources of information (the état civil of Nancy and Paris, the army and other public and private institutions). All these data has allowed to write Gesmar's biography as well as to document an extended chronology of his contributions.

Equally painstaking was the gathering of a complete collection of the graphic art of the artist scattered in many museums and private collections.

For the beauty and richness of the colour images and the luxurious dress the book might constitute a prestigious Christmas gift.

Best regards

Luerti Angelo (Cel. 338 8579827)

Volume cm. 24x35, pp. 192 with 230 photo colour (of which 110 graphic works and 60 costume design). Texts in Italian and French. Binding in editorial paperback dressed in black silk with golden warm impressions and dry cavity with manual insertion of the illustration of the cover. Case dressed in black silk.

PS: the book has exactly the same dress of my previous book Not Only Erté (Costume design for the Paris Music Hall 1918 1940). http://www.costumes.org/store/bookstore/notonlyerte.pdf

This is very interesting portrait of a 'futuristic' copper engraver from the older centuries. Which would have been a sight to see, had this idea blossomed. I came upon such a contraption before. Picture all of this wooden frame, and put in the personal computer. Definitely something there, huh?Just imagine, if laptops weren't invented, you could have been sporting one of those 'futuristic' computers.

This looks like a period piece that was used as the inspiration for a fashion line on project runway.

Period pieces are wonderful. Look at how Adam Ant used period pieces in his wardrobe in the 80s.

Recent Comments

  • Costumes: Period pieces are wonderful. Look at how Adam Ant used read more
  • Sheila Dollarsby: This looks like a period piece that was used as read more
  • lseamore: This is very interesting portrait of a 'futuristic' copper engraver read more
  • Angelo Luerti: My book "Charles Gesmar 1900-1928", an absolute novelty (500 copies), read more
  • Luerti Angelo: Dear Sir. I'm a writer. See internet news about my read more