Les Actrices (1900-1918)

Art, Drawing and illustration
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Les Actrices (1900-1918)
© Fondation Pathé

An insight into the portrayal of female film stars in early 20th century promotional posters.

To tie in with its concurrent ‘Femmes Force Irrésistible’ series of screenings, the Fondation Jérôme Pathé-Seydoux has put together a small exhibit that shines a light on the pioneering female actors of the early 20th century. Comprising fifteen or so original posters from its in-house collection, visitors see how the likes of Mistinguett, Polaire, Jane Renouardt and the dancer Napierkowska were glorified and overwhelmingly depicted as ‘divas’ in their initial roles. From this era, a number of designs by artists such as Candido de Feria blur the lines between fiction and reality, demonstrating how these diva-like figures and the characters they played became the front-page celebrities of their day. With their sharp contours and bold features, such works are firmly anchored in the emerging trends of the time (art nouveau, art deco), representing profiles of the stars in faded pastel blues and numerous shades of ochre. The radiant elegance of such glamorous personages is brought to life through stark chiaroscuro and a meticulous attention to detail.

TRANSLATION: HUW OLIVER

By: Céline Astorg

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