La Vie Parisienne: The 513 Art Deco Covers of the Twenties

La Vie Parisienne: The 513 Art Deco Covers of the Twenties by Angelo Luerti

Another superb, full-colour book by Angelo Luerti. This is ultimately a book of pictures: a celebration of the glorious covers of La Vie Parisienne from the Jazz Age of the 1920s; the decade that would be remembered for the exhilarating cosmopolitan, worldly and liberal atmosphere of Paris.

La Vie Parisienne was undoubtedly one of the most famous and popular of the many French magazines in the Jazz Age. It was founded in 1863 by Marcelin, but taken over in 1906 by Charles Saglio, who modernised the content and changed the target audience from the bourgeois couple, to a wealthier and higher class audience. The subtitle also became Contes et Nouvelles, Theater et Musique, Les Sports, Les Arts or Stories and News of Theater and Music, Sports, The Arts. Thereafter, it cleverly combined adding an edge of erotic flavour with glamour, love, romance and an emphasis on women’s fashion.

The book itself is divided into various sections including: the origins of the magazine; the last years of the Belle Epoque; the years of the Great War; the Crazy years (of the 1920s); the thirties and under the occupation, along with a catalogue of the 513 covers and biographical notes about some of the illustrators.

There were 1570 color covers produced from 1910, the year of their introduction, to 1943, the year in which La Vie Parisienne suspended publication due to the war, although the publications resumed after World War II but the quality of the covers declined. Angelo Luerti’s book therefore reveals about a third of these incredible covers.

Charles Saglio knew that importance of the cover to express the identity of a magazine and its purpose to attract attention and secure a sale. He spared no expense by hiring some of the leading and talented artists of the day such as Barbier, Brissaud, Brunelleschi, Hérouard and Léonnec, along with a team of excellent writers

La Vie Parisienne, as the great ambassador of the most sophisticated and fascinating city in the world, recorded all the great events and changes in society from the birth of the modern, free and independent woman to developments in the field of fashion and art including Poiret’s new fashion (1908), to Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (1909), to Marinetti’s Futurism (1909), to the Exposition de l’Art Bouddhique (1913) up to L’Exposition des Arts Décoratifs (1925) from which the term Déco originated.

The magazine also featured gossip and stories with a feminine slant, following the yearly migratory tour of hight society from the winter skiing resorts, to the glamourous Riviera in Nice, Cannes and Monte Carlo and the summer retreats of Deauville and Monte Carlo. La Vie Parisienne personified everything that was implicit in the concept of Parisian life. Elegance, glamour, gaiety and delight in sexual pleasures were frequent themes, treated with texts and illustrations that the prudish bourgeoisie found pornographic.

After having gone through two world wars unscathed and recording numerous changes in taste, La Vie Parisienne finally ceased publication in 1970.

232 pages, format 22,5 x 30 cm, 583 color images.
Text also in English.

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