Ricordi’s Italian Masters of the Poster
The Ricordi printing firm was established in Milan in 1808 as a publisher of classical music and opera. In the late 19th century, the founder’s son, Giulio Ricordi, helmed the company and added advertising posters to their repertoire. They enlisted the greatest posterists of their time to design works for Italian operas, theatrical plays, products, and brands, including the Mele department store. Among these artists were Leonetto Cappiello, Marcello Dudovich, Adolfo Hohenstein, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Aleardo Terzi, and Aleardo Villa.
In circa 1914, the company produced their portfolio, “Gli Avvisi Delle Officine G. Ricordi.” Executed much in the manner of Les Maîtres de l’Affiche, this rare and complete portfolio of 70 beautifully lithographed Ricordi posters reproduces the work of Italian master posterists in a more manageable size. Published with the same meticulous care and quality as the Maîtres series—which in some respects makes it even more rare and impressive seeing as it exhibits the work of a single publishing firm—the artists and works presented in the portfolio are astounding: Cappiello (4 posters—a pair for Mele, Livorno, and the tremendous Musica e Musicisti), Hohenstein (10 posters, including Monaco, Germania, Monte Carlo, and Tosca), Metlicovitz (15, including Fleur de Mousse, Exposition Milan, and several Mele designs), Dudovich (7, with Mele being the primary representative), Franz Laskoff (10, including S. Petrus and Mele), and Mauzan (a pair of film posters). Other artists present in this prodigious assemblage include Achille Beltrame, Caldanzano, Cavaleri, Gallo, Adolfo de Karolis, Gian Malerba, Giovanni Mataloni, Aldo Mazza, Plinio Nomellini, Palanti, Enrico Sacchetti, Aleardo Terzi, and Aleardo Villa. An absolute must-have for the Italian poster aficionado!
This remarkable work is included in our 85th Rare Posters Auction.
Adolfo Hohenstein (1854-1928)
Il Resto del Carlino. 1898.
Corriere della Sera. 1898.
Esposizione d’Igiene. 1900.
Madama Butterfly. 1904.
Achille Beltrame (1871-1945)
Loden dal Brun. 1910.
Leonetto Cappiello (1875-1942)
Mele / Magazzini Italiani. 1904.
Livorno / Stagione Balneare. 1901.
Luigi Caldanzano (1880-1928)
L’Amore dei Tre Re. 1913.
Leopoldo Metlicovitz (1868-1944)
Giulio Marchetti. 1914.
Marcello Dudovich (1878-1962)
In-gallery viewing October 29 – November 13