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The Artists and Their Work

The menus and postcards of the Cornet Society are truly Parisian Art  Treasures, not only because they were limited in number or, in the case of  the postcards, were each truly original and one-of-a-kind, but also because of the history and the depth of talent that each represents. To understand the collection, it is essential to know the artists and their work. Many of these artists earned their living by  producing lithographs for the weekly publications,  Le Chat Noir, La Grosse Caisse, Le Rire, La Vie Moderne and, Le Journal Amusant  among many others. Their primary income came through arduous work as illustrators and in the early days many of them lived a life of the struggling artist. They painted on commission and often slept in cramped and cold quarters.

Montmartre was the epicenter for artistic activity; it drew artists from all over France and the world. Many of these artists needed a means to network, rub elbows with other ambitious souls and seek the advise of those with more experience. For these reasons artist fraternities such as the Bon Bock, The Hydropathes, Incoherents and Society of Designers and Humorists were born. These groups were a forum to openly express ideas ranging from art to politics and were an appendage of the Cornet Society that was also founded under the same principles.

Although the Cornet Society spanned at least 76 years (1896~1972), it was from 1905 through the early 1930s that the group thrived and produced its most aesthetic material. Each illustrated menu is chronologically numbered, based on the date of the meeting. They were not made for the public; they were exclusively for the Cornet Society and were limited to no more than 200 prints, since the membership of the society was restricted to 200.


Bon Bock Society  1875- 1970’s
Founded by Emile Bellot
Radical and Satirical group….subscribed to Rabelais biting humor and satirical thinking
Artists, writers, performers and playwrights Hosted dinners around Montmartre à made illustrated invitations Grenet-Dancourt, Paul Delmet, Jules Grun, Bertrand Mellenvoye, Steinlen and Adolphe Willette, all Cornet members, also were Bon Bock members in their early years.

Hydropathes 1878-
Founded by Emile Goudeau
CS mem. Andre Gill, Edmond Haurocourt and Jules Levy belonged to the Hydropathes.
Met at the Latin Quarter twice weekly and published A bimonthly journal

Incoherents 1882-1897?
Founded by Cornet Society member, Jules Levy
Somewhat less radical than the above groups. CM mem. Maurice Donnay and Maurice Neumont were members. Neumont latter created the illustration below for the Incoherents.

PUBLICATION OF 1897 LES PROGRAMMES ILLUSTRES. WHICH WAS EDITED BY THE RENOWNED POSTER EXPERT ERNEST MAINDRON,. Maurice Neumont created this lithograph.

Decadents 1886-
Believed that art should not be concerned with moral or societal expectations- art should survive based its independent merit.

Cornet Society 1896-1970s
Founded by Georges Courteline, Paul Demet, Bertrand Mellenvoye and
Albert Michaut 

Cornet Society Artists Contributions to The Master’s of the Poster

The Masters of the Poster is a collection of 5 volumes published in Paris between 1895 and 1900 which featured the most valued and widely known poster art of the period. The publisher was the Imprimerie Chaix. Jules Cheret, who invented the chromolithography technique in 1860 and is one of the most famous of all poster artists, was artistic director of the publication and painted several portraits of Georges Wague as Pierrot. The five volumes were annotated by Roger Marx, a well known art critic and historian. The Masters of the Poster included 256 plates, 67 by Cheret, considered masterpieces of the chromolithography technique and in some cases masterpiece art works as well. Half of works not attributed to Cheret are by French artists, including 7 by Alphonse Mucha, and 5 by Toulouse-Lautrec. At the time of publication, poster art enjoyed great popularity in France and throughout Europe. Described by Roger Marx as a people’s art form, posters of the day brought (posters of the day brought to life the manners and morals, the fashions and tastes, the thousand spectacles of public and private life of the period. (From the Preface to Volume 1 (1896).

Seven Cornet Society members are represented in Masters of the Poster, with 24 works. Their contribution follows:
Georges De Feure: 5 works, plates # 10, 8, 130, 146, 199.
Fernand Gottlob: 2 works, plates # 219, 239.
Jules Grun: 3 works, plates # 103,159, 223.
Charles Leandre: 2 works, plates # 206, special plate 15.
Misti: 2 works, plates # 86, 215.
Roedel: 4 works, plates # 75, 179, 195, 235.
Willette: 6 works, plates # 14, 43, special plate 4, 142, special plate 11, 194.

These 7 Cornet Society artists illustrated 41 menus in The Masters of the Poster

 


 

 

Copyright 1998-2014 by The Cornet Group.

Written by Jason Smith and Raymond Nault
All material within this website is the express property of Jason Paul Smith. Reprinting, reproduction, and uploading of The Cornet artwork, menus lithographs, postcards, photographs, or other copyrighted materials in whole or in part anywhere on the Internet is illegal and forbidden except with the written permission of Jason Paul Smith