Roger Broders (1883-1953) was France’s champion of travel posters between the wars. From 1922 to 1932, he worked for the PLM railway, traveling around the country and advertising its many chic and sporty locations. He combined Impressionistic landscapes with sharp Art Deco typography and stylish characters who brought a strong dose of glamour to every scene. Marrying timeless natural beauty with Jazz Age fashion, Broders’ posters are hard to forget and easy to become infatuated with.
This PLM poster features stylish vacationers enjoying a sunny terrace in the Alpes-Maritimes resort of Grasse, which overlooks the Côte d’Azur. The Old City rises behind like a man-made mountain, crowned by the ancient cathedral. Delicate coloring evokes the delicious mixture of southern warmth and the chill of the mountains in a place described as “the village of flowers and perfume.”
Here is a rapturously beautiful and supreme Deco celebration of Corsica, the Mediterranean, and the idylls of beach life from the travel-poster master. The colors are impossibly crisp, especially considering this Grande Dame of posterdom is now 94 years of age. This is actually an advertisement for the PLM railway; the line not only advertised destinations in southern Europe, but also points across the water accessible from those ports. This is the French-language version.
From the vantage point of a 16th-century fortress overlooking the bay, we take in a quiet, summer-hued afternoon in the Nice suburb of Villefranche sur Mer.
In this much more relaxed, romantic composition than his other design for Monte-Carlo (see following lot), we are handed a stunning view of the city from within a flowery hillside pergola—it’s one of the most beautiful of Broders’ trademark “frames.”
In one of Broders’ best posters for the Riviera, a swank Art Deco couple gazes down at the full tennis courts below. Meanwhile, the packed stadium seating provides ample views of the sporting activities and the Mediterranean beyond.
Nestled between Nice and Cannes along the Côte d’Azur, Juan-les-Pins is known for its cozy, calm series of inlets. Though heavily populated with beach-goers, Broders’ composition makes the area appear serene and carefree.