Martini ‘Egyptian’ poster
Martini ‘Egyptian’ poster. In the early years of the twentieth century the avant-garde art movements in Europe were discovering exotic imagery from all over the World, with the arts of Africa and Japan appearing in important exhibitions in Paris, and profoundly influencing artists like Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh. At the same time important new archaeological discoveries, such as the unearthing of the tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter in 1922, made headline news and the great artists of the day became enchanted by the rich colours and distinct angular shapes presented by ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and artefacts.
The decorative arts designers of the time also fell under the spell of these cultures and were quick to incorporate these fascinating and romantic motifs into their creations, including architecture, furniture, jewellery and graphic design.
In this Martini poster I have continued this tradition and taken the motif of the Great Sphinx of Giza and that of the death mask of the boy king Tutankhamun to create the ‘headdress’ for a rather austere character that looks straight into the viewer’s eyes whilst cooly sipping a Martini cocktail. Using colour sparingly, I have additionally attempted to persuade the viewer to follow the green circle plucked from the ‘O’ in Vermouth, to the large stone (Serpentine?) of her ring, on to the olive in the glass, and finally resting on the cool gaze of her eyes and then all the way back again to the product. Also using the powerful red of the girl’s lips I have made a direct connection with the word ‘Martini’.
The lettering is hand drawn based on designs by the brilliant but little-known Dutch typographic artist of the early 1920s, Anton Kurvers. Further details of this and other posters in my collection can be found HERE.