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peintresThe images used in this post are from the Catalog “Les Peintres Temoins De Leur Temps“, a fine art show held in Paris in 1956. For approximately five years a group of 100 painters and sculptors held an annual exhibition, always  around a central theme to be used by each artist. The artists that participated would not always be the same each year. For the 1956 Exhibition, the central theme was the portrait, hence the subtitle “the rehabilitation of the portrait“.

pei-5pei-10The artists that participated were also asked to support the advertising sponsors with a drawing in the catalog. Each drawing was a unique piece done for the occasion. Most of the portraits produced were done in oil and pictured in black and white in the catalog but, in my opinion, the more interesting items are the ads, for example, for the Cafe La Coupole, or for Hermes and even the ladies’ nylons.

pei-2pei-9 For a moment, I thought I was in Paris on a spring day back in 1956. When you look at drawings from well known artists like Marcel Vertes or Bernard Buffet, Jean Cocteau and so many others you get a hint of what art was like in those days along side the “modernists” and one cannot help to admire the power of the pen, pencil, ink and paper.

pei-6pei-1The cover for the catalog was printed by Mourlot the famous Paris printer. I have included some photographs from the catalog of some of the more famous artists and their sometimes even more famous sitters. E voila pour toutes les Parisiennes! Un pernod sur la terrasse et sante!