This Alfa Romeo Le Mans poster celebrates Alfa’s historic win in the 1931 24-hour endurance race held on the Circuit de la Sarthe in France.
I’ve been trying for some considerable time to incorporate one of the beautiful Monet compositions of poplars on the River Epte, painted while he was living at Giverny, into one of my posters. The particular painting I’ve shown here, part of a series that was painted through the summer of 1891, I love to see quite regularly at The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, an hour or so from where I live in Suffolk. I love the majestic sweep of the trees that suggests such elegant motion.
But after many false starts I finally found the composition that worked. This very dynamic image of the fabulous 1931 Alfa Romeo eight cylinder 2300 dropped straight into my drawing of the trees like a dream. This car seems to have won just about every race it entered, and the Alfa Romeo team was able to call on the very best drivers of the time, much like Ferrari can now.
Here I feature this magnificent beast winning the 1931 Le Mans 24 hour race, beating the mighty 7 litre Mercedes-Benz SSK designed by Ferdinand Porsche into second place, with the very successful driving pair of Lord Howe and Henry Birkin of Great Britain behind the wheel. The two “Bentley Boys”, who had turned to Alfas after Bentley ceased racing, went on to achieve even more success with Enzo Ferrari’s team at Alfa.
I’m sure that many purists will argue that this is not an accurate representation of the Le Mans circuit, and they would be correct, but I tend to be a bit more steampunk in my approach to the composition of a piece of graphic design, and prefer that it be elegant, dynamic and visually pleasing rather than historically precise. I’m looking for a composition that will grace the most modern apartment as well as an automobile enthusiast’s garage, and I do believe that this one fits the bill nicely.