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France 1900 – 1997

Peugeot 1922 Materials & Technique: prints, posters, planographic lithograph Place Published: Paris

Edition Notes: Published by Draeger
Dimensions: image 149.4 h x 110.0 w cm sheet 160.4 h x 120.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1981
Accession No: NGA 81.1974
Cutting-edge technology is not just a characteristic of our age

Cutting-edge technology is not just a characteristic of our age. Around 1885 there was a huge breakthrough in the arena of bicycle design with the advent of the first chain-driven models. The effect was revolutionary in every sense and by the turn of the century there were literally tens of thousands of these new machines on the streets of Paris.

One of the most notable bicycle posters of the period was Jean Carlu’s 1922 poster for Peugeot. Carlu had initially trained as an architect before losing his right arm in an accident in 1918, after which he turned to the graphic arts. The Peugeot poster, done when Carlu was only 22, clearly derives its inspiration from the work of Jules Chéret. While this is one of the great posters of the period, Carlu would become most famous for his later posters, which used geometric abstraction as their basis.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra