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Artist: Privat-Livemont Belgian (1861-1936)

Item: AR

Title: Absinthe Robette, 1896
Description: Condition A (Rare)
Original colour stone lithograph
Printed by J.L. Goffart, Brussels, 1896.
Backed on japon. Shipped via Fedex.

Certificate of Authenticity.
See our Terms of Sale
Poster Size: 32 5/8 in x 44 1/4 in
  83 cm x 112.5 cm

Price: Sold

Full size sold for $18,400 US
Poster Auctions International, NY. May 2008

"The Absinthe Robette is the most famous Art Nouveau poster ever printed. The condition is simply superb and it's beauty is unsurpassed.
The Green Fairy is truly magnificent." Greg

"One of the most iconic posters of all time, Livemont’s design for Absinthe Robette perfectly captures the spirit of Art Nouveau. Every element of the image is lavishly decorative yet delicately organic. Holding up her glass with the reverence of a holy relic, we do not see the hand which pours the water over the sugar, adding a mystical, other-worldly quality to the concoction. The background is made up of sensual plumes of mint on green, echoing the milky swirl within the cup. There is also an obvious nod to Mucha in the execution of the woman’s hair, as well as the cut-out halo encircling her head." (Rennert)

"Livemont gives us a study in green, shading from chartreuse to olive, because "absinthe was known as The Green Fairy. It was a potent hallucinogen, which Livemont hints at by having the [figure] hold the drink in an attitude of mystic awe, as well as by the use of a strangely convoluted pattern in the background. A classic of inspired product promotion!" (Wine Spectator, 80).

"Thanks to Livemont's artistry, commerce is again serviced by unflinching female sensuality. Livemont started out as an interior designer in his home town of Schaerbeek, Belgium. He came to poster art after entering a poster contest on a whim and winning it. By 1898, The Poster magazine was calling him "the uncontested master of Belgian posterists." Though one of several posterists often assumed to be disciples of Mucha, Livemont's version of Art Nouveau was in fact well-developed before Mucha burst onto the scene in the 1890s."(Rennert)

Absinthe, a potent drink made from wormwood, was sometimes referred to as 'the green fairy' for it's colour and it's hallucinogenic properties. The artist therefore puts a green tinge on his whole design and evokes the intoxicating effect in a mysterious Art-Nouveau pattern that's half vegetable, half vapour. The sheerly veiled woman seems to be checking the drink she has mixed for colour and texture. An excellent example of female sensuality used in the service of commerce." (Gold p.32)

"Livemont was the foremost Belgian practitioner of the Art Nouveau style. His posters invite comparison to Mucha, but it should be remembered that he had already produced several posters by the time Mucha created his first. Above all, Livemont was a skilled lithographer, a quality evident in the subtle colour gradations and detail of this sensual poster" (Rennert)

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