A.M. Cassandre

Posted by Scott

Adolphe Jean Édouard-Marie Mouron is one of my favorite commercial poster artists. Unfortunately, he went from running a successful advertising agency (Alliance Graphique who’s work includes the Yves St. Laurent logo), to losing it all and serving in the French army in World War II, to doing set design to get by, and finally suffering from depression and committing suicide in 1968. It’s very sad to think this was the fate of a man who contributed so much to design. You can find more information on Cassandre here and here.

Perhaps his most recognizable work, the Dubonet Wine poster is all but ubiquitous in vintage poster collections these days. This style of poster art is sort of a bittersweet thing for me. I really do love it, but once you start seeing something sold at Target it’s hard to take it seriously as art. I have a few old advertisement posters from this period around the house (all reproductions), but I really want to start focusing on later modernist stuff.

Images via Alki1

10 Comments Leave A Comment


Daniel Carvalho says:

January 21, 2009 at 6:46 am

There’s actually a restaurant nearby my place that has a lot of reproduced posters like this on their walls. Some of them are absolutely amazing, I enjoy more of the art deco looking ones. Shot for the link, now maybe I can trace some of my favorite ones.


Alex says:

January 21, 2009 at 7:01 am

I don’t know if anyone watches Antiques Roadshow on PBS, but one of A.M. Cassandre’s very famous “Normandie” posters passed through the show at one point not too long ago. The poster was massive and in practically perfect condition. The person that brought it in found it in a dumpster, if you can believe it. I can’t remember what the Poster was valued at, but to me it’s “priceless.” Here is a Wikipedia link to the poster.


Sean says:

January 21, 2009 at 10:48 am

“I really do love it, but once you start seeing something sold at Target it’s hard to take it seriously as art. ”

I don’t necessarily think that Target retailing it lessens the impact of how good it is; if anything it makes me sad to see a conglomo-corporate monster chain whoring out fantastic artwork to the masses who probably can’t appreciate it on the same level as designers/artists can.

The last one of your samples has always been my favorite of his. That face with the lines from the “ear” is so powerful to me.


Shelby white says:

January 21, 2009 at 11:44 am

I’ve totally seen the antiques road show. Rather boring in my opinion.

The third piece down “tiplex” is qute good. I wonder what the medium was?


Scott says:

January 21, 2009 at 12:27 pm

you’re right, it doesn’t make the piece any less great….it just dulls the impact for me, to the point that I wouldn’t hang that particular piece in my home. yeah, that last one is amazing, so intense.

he was also a traditional painter, so I am assuming most of it was paint.


Op says:

January 21, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Have always loved his work, such strong beautiful pieces. The Normandie one is great as Alex posted above – the touch of the birds!
It is a shame to see awesome works lowered to a level of bargain repro’s, but the same goes for all the greats…


Luke says:

January 22, 2009 at 2:26 pm

When I first started looking at the images I fell in love with the idea of some sort of constructivist revival, but it wasn’t until the last image that I recognized who the artist was.
I agree that its a shame that such fantastic design is being cheapened by Target. But to highlight the sweet in bittersweet, at least this great design is being reintroduced into a market that would never have been exposed to this kind of design. Maybe I’m being too optimistic.


charly says:

July 13, 2009 at 2:28 pm

hola no se si alguien me pueda decir, aportar algun tipo de dato en cuanto a referencia de cassandre,,, lo q quiero saber es si alguien de valia social menciono algo en contra de cassandre, algo a favor sobre sus diseños de dubonnet, o cualquier tipo de carteles realizados por el gran cartelista,frances,,, son para complemento de mi tesis.. e buscado por los sitios mas recurrentes web,, y uno q otro libro…… agradeceria su ayuda…