Franz Laskoff. “Noël de Pierrot.” From ‘The Ricordi Portfolio.’ Milan: G. Ricordi & C., ca. 1914. Chromolithograph. 10 1/2 x 6 3/8. Very good condition.
The Milan printing house of G. Ricordi produced some of the most influential advertising posters of the era from the late nineteenth century up to World War I. Under the artistic direction of Adolfo Hohenstein, the firm help establish the careers of a number of Art Nouveau artists in producing images for Campari, the Mele department store, Monte Carlo, the Italian film industry and other European businesses. Just before the outbreak of the war, Ricordi produced a portfolio of 70 reduced versions of his firm’s greatest posters. This poster is by Franz Laskoff, a German portrait and landscape artist who ended up working in Italy for Ricordi. This is a promotional image for a “mimodrame,” that is a musical pantomime by Vittorio Monti. The original posters are extremely rare, but even these images from the Ricordi portfolio have become quite scarce. This is a lovely example of the series.