About Us

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WELCOME TO VINTAGE ADVERTISING ART

Vintage-Advertising-Art.com specialises in French advertising art from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s- when legendary companies commissioned artists to create illustrated ads for luxury products. By the 1960s, photography had taken over as a cheaper and quicker alternative to illustration. Save for a few masters like René Gruau and Bernard Villemot, the new medium wiped out advertising illustrators. The enchanting artworks which had populated streets, magazines and newspapers into the middle of the twentieth century began to fade.
Many of the artists behind those pictures have been forgotten- even when the brands they worked for remain iconic. There are few hagiographies for advertising artists, few gallery shows. Advertising art gets a raw deal.
We want to change that.
At VAA we encourage appreciation of this work and preserve it for posterity. We want to turn offices, boardrooms, apartments and houses into the galleries of the forgotten art of advertising.
While most online vendors stock reproductions, all the prints we sell are genuine originals from upmarket magazines and periodicals of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. Some were produced for prestigious perfume and fashion houses, others for Swiss watchmakers. Some were made for well-loved liquors like Martini and Campari, and others for the era’s burgeoning commercial airlines. Schiaparelli, Lanvin, Chanel and Guerlain are just a few of the companies whose illustrated ads we stock.
Our founder Ludovic Malot’s interest in vintage art was first piqued at the age of 12. Looking for an old gramophone in his grandparent’s attic, he found a collection of magazines on architecture, art and furniture, filled with illustrated ads. Ever since, he has admired this creative work. When Malot looks at vintage advertising, he sees how each illustration betrays the idiosyncrasy of a particular artist and the uniqueness of a brand message. Having taken a major in marketing at a London business school, he has an enduring fascination and knowledge of the world of advertising.
   VAA boasts a panoply of vintage pieces spanning the different styles of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. At that time France was recovering from years of war and austerity, when military and civilian uniforms, sartorial shortages and restrictions had been the norm. Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’ fashion range, unveiled to the world on the 12th of February 1947, was the clarion call for a more lavish, non-utilitarian age. And yet- though it’s hard to believe now- the day of its opening saw coal shortages and the ration of bread was just over half a pound.
Soon France- with the help of U.S Marshall Plan aid- found its feet again and embarked on what was to be ‘Les Trentes Glorieuses’- thirty years of economic boom from 1945 to 1975. The richly symbolic work of advertising art in these decades is a far cry from the purely informational style of advertising’s early years, and every poster from this period can tell us something about the immense societal transformations going on around it.
For French women in particular, the new affluence of the post-war decades were an opportunity to recapture the elegant styles which had been jettisoned for more functional and inexpensive attire during the years of war and rationing. Many of the fashion and cosmetics ads stocked by VAA are testament to this renaissance in womanly wiles.
Customers from all over the world can purchase an authentic piece of French heritage from VAA. These posters are historical artefacts as much as pretty pictures- they provide a chance to meditate on days gone by.
   We frame each illustration in our workshop in Lausanne, Switzerland using anodised black aluminium frames. These hard-wearing frames are especially resistant to corrosion and heat. The float glass we use is crystal clear with a very flat surface. The frames are 32.7 × 42.7cm (12.87″ x 16.81″).
What’s more, every poster comes with a certificate of authenticity so customers know the illustration they’ve bought is a genuine antique. We are dedicated to making sure modern technology is deployed to preserve the wonders of the past and present them beautifully.
Our art is shipped internationally from Switzerland and we accept payments in USD, EUR and CHF. Pieces sell for between $200 and $900. Your framed vintage ad will arrive within 5-10 days.
At Vintage Advertising Art we allow you to purchase an authentic piece of history for display in your home or office. We hope that these illustrations will provide a window onto a golden age of advertising art.

Latest Illustrations