The French Riviera in the 1950’s & 60’s was the Ultimate Cocktail- La Riviera Francaise
a place where film stars & starlets, painters, sculptors, gamblers, ex-kings, jazz musicians, nobility, shipping magnets, directors, politicians, race car drivers, pin-up girls, conductors, writers, prima donnas, playboys, choreographers & film producers flocked to “The Mediterranean with its golden islands in the sun, with cloudless coasts and a magic sky” (translated from the Operette “Mediterrannee”)
A time where the youth rebel against an atmosphere of stuffy conventionality, music ranges from jazz to rock and roll. All-inclusive vacations are introduced, the sound barrier is broken, outer space is conquered, air travel is fashionable and the jet set goes to summer on the Cote d’Azur. Brigette Bardot introduces us to St. Tropez, Liz Taylor & co. go to Cap Ferrat, Grace Kelly marries Prince Ranier of Monaco, Henri Matisse is residing in Nice and Julia Childs builds a home near Cannes.
Tourism posters fully belong to this place, this time…posted in train stations, air ports and travel agencies. The French Riviera was at the heart of the “Golden Age of Graphic Design” with posters created by practically all the major poster designers and many renowned artists including Roger Broders, Roger Bezombez, Jules Cavailles, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Bernard Villemot, Nathan Garamond and Geo Dorival to name a few.
Posters were designed to be glued up in public places and thus destroyed by the weather of covered over by other posters. Today, however, they are considered true works of art. They reflect the changes in the visual arts. They belong to art history and thus are sought out by art lovers, poster collectors and museums all over the world.