Category Archives: Illustrators

Remarks and info about artists

Ugène

‘Ugène pass’ moi l’Odorigène’ by Yahne Lambray, published and illustrated by Joë Bridge (Paris, 1920).

Joë Bridge created the imaginary character Ugène, a Parisian Joe Sixpack from the Twenties. Joë Bridge was a French lyricist, cartoonist and sportsman. He was famous for his posters and press cartoons. Here is his beautiful portrait.

Joë Bridge in 1927, photographed by Agence ROL (source: Gallica-BnF)

He had his own advertising workshop and was one of the first to create a complete product marketing campaign by combining a brand mascot (Ugène), a rhyming slogan (‘Ugène pass’ moi l’Odorigène’), cartoons and a song. The product he promoted was a kind of pomander: the odorigène. This pocket-sized nasal inhaler was meant to provide a continuous olfactory shield against the bad odours of the city. It was a small flask containing perfumed oil and a wick to diffuse the fragrance by capillary action.

The odorigène. Source: ebay.fr

Joë Bridge’s advertising poster demonstrates how the odorigène could be very useful in a bad-smelling metro.

And —thanks to its antiseptic vapours— the odorigène also helped to prevent influenza and contagious diseases.

In L’Ouest-Éclair 26 October 1920.

The odorigène, what an invention! We’ll stop now and smell the roses*.

(*) “Stop and smell the roses” may be a cliché, but new research suggests it’s sound advice for finding satisfaction in life. A forthcoming study in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences suggests that appreciating the meaningful things and people in our lives may play an even larger role in our overall happiness than previously thought.

YAFI, bloehr

Illustrated cover of sheet music 'När det lyser i fönstret hos Emma' by Jules Sylvain & Paddock. Illusrtrated by bloehr.
När det lyser i fönstret hos Emma‘ by Jules Sylvain & Paddock. Published by Edition Sylvain (Stockholm, 1935) and illustrated by bloehr.

This week we won’t tell you a story. Instead we invented a cryptic title to catch your attention: YAFI. That is the abbreviation of ‘yet another fine illustrator’. The artist known as ‘bloehr’ has signed eight covers in our collection of sheet music.
The signature is as simple as mysterious: bloehr (not capitalised).
We don’t have anything else to write about ‘bloehr’ because —apart from a 1934 film poster— we have zero information about this unknown fine illustrator. That leaves us no other choice than to simply enjoy these carefully designed Swedish covers.

Hm.-Hm.‘ by Sten Axelson-Paddock, published by Edition Sylvain (Stockholm, 1933) and illustrated by bloehr.
Och karusellen går‘ by Jules Sylvain, published by Edition Sylvain (Stockholm, 1935). Cover designed by bloehr.
Jag ger dig röda orkideer‘ composed by Juan Bara and published by Nordiska Musikförlaget (Stockholm, 1935). Illustrator: bloehr.
Mary, de’ ä’ dej jag ä’ kär i…‘ composed by Jules Sylvain, publisher: Edition Sylvain (Stockholm, 1934), illustrator: bloehr.
Stackars Butterfly‘ composed by Jules Sylvain and published by Edition Sylvain (Stockholm, 1934). Cover designed by bloehr.
Vågor höga som hus‘ by Jules Sylvain. Published by Edition Sylvain (Stockholm, 1935). Illustrator: bloehr
Alt lever i solskin! – Kärleken är ny varje dag (Parlami d’Amore)’ by C. A. Bixio & Herr Dardanell. Published by Nordiska Musikförlaget (Stockholm, 1938) and illustrated by bloehr.

The Birds

Chansons des Oiseaux‘ published by L. Henri May, Paris, 1898. Cover and inside illustrations by Georges Fraipont.

Today’s post is not a usual story. Rather, it is a dreamy walk through enchanted sceneries of the kingdom of birds and a few fluttering bats. The very special songbook Chansons des Oiseaux was published in 1898 by the Société française d’éditions d’art L.-Henri May.
This monsieur Louis-Henry May may have given his venture a rather pompous title, but it well reflects the care and attention that was given to the book: the unusual oblong format, the peaceful cover image without room for names nor other text than the title, the decorative pastedown to finish the inside of the hardboard cover, and last but not least the delicate full-page illustrations by Georges Fraipont (1873-1912).

The cock on the front cover of 'Chansons des Oiseaux'
Detailed scan of the front cover (click for high resolution).

We have already written about ‘Recto Verso de Luxe‘ where sheet music is illustrated on both the front and back cover to form one large image when you fold open the sheet. This is one of these special covers.

illustration by Georges Fraipont for 'Chansons des Oiseaux'
Front and back cover of ‘Chansons des Oiseaux’, 1898 (illustration by Georges Fraipont)

The book collects 10 songs composed by Georges Fragerolles (1855-1920), who is famous for being the maestro of the Chat noir, having enlivened at the piano many shows of the Théatre d’ombres. The lyrics of four songs were written by Fragerolles himself.

The decorated pastedown on the cover interior of the book, designed by Jean Closset.

In our collection the name Fraipont is familiar. Gustave Fraipont (1849-1923) created a few sheet music covers. It was however his son Georges who illustrated this book. It is rather hard to discern the work of Gustave from that of Georges, as they both use ‘G. Fraipont’ as signature, and their style is comparable. Besides, Georges was also a composer. On at least one sheet music cover both father (illustrator) and son (composer) appear together. Yes, also with birds.

Tendresse sheet music by Georges Fraipont
Tendresse‘ by Georges Fraipont and Pierre Barbier. Published by Costallat & Cie (Paris, s.d.) and illustrated by Gustave Fraipont.

But let us continue with the book. Here is the title page.

The title page for the ‘Chansons des Oiseaux’.

And here follows your oxygen, your antidote to nastiness, negativity and gloom: ten lithographs, so delightfully charming that it is hard to imagine that they are but the result of a combination of ink, brush and paper.
Savour and rejoice!

'Mon Coq - Chanson rustique' illustrated by Georges Fraipont
‘Mon Coq – Chanson rustique’

'Les Mésanges Divines' by G. Fraipont
‘Les Mésanges Divines – Légende Mystique’

'Les Mouettes - Chanson de Mer' illustration by G. Fraipont
‘Les Mouettes – Chanson de Mer’

'La Chauve-souris' by Georges Fraipont
‘La Chauve-souris – Chanson d’Enfant’

'Voici l'Hirondelle - Aubade' by G. Fraipont
‘Voici l’Hirondelle – Aubade’

'Le Cygne - Stances' by Georges Fraipont
‘Le Cygne – Stances’

l'Oiseau Favori by G. Fraipont
‘L’Oiseau Favori – Romance dans le genre ancien’

'Le Perroquet - Rondo' by G. Fraipont
‘Le Perroquet – Rondo’

‘La Colombe – Romance’

'Le Rossignol - Sonnet' by Georges Fraipont
‘Le Rossignol – Sonnet’

 


The book was printed by R. Engelmann, Imprimeur-lithographe
(
16 rue Nansouty, Paris)