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During World War I, the poster became an art form that could influence history. Prior to film and television, it was politically the most important of all visual media. The printing method, stone lithography produced lush colors and vibrant images. The art itself hung on the side public buildings and had to be visually arresting in order to capture the attention of passersby. Imagine walking through the streets of Paris and seeing these wonderful images adorn the streets.

Consequently, with that kind of exposure, artists such as Leonetto Cappiello, often referred to as “the father of modern advertising,” became very famous. Soon many fine artists such as Toulouse Lautrec, Theophile Alexandre Steinlen, Alphonse Mucha and others were eager to provide artwork for advertisers in order to get noticed.

The collecting of these posters began with their first distribution. They were sought out by art dealers who believed they could be sold to their customers. Few survived in their original state having been ripped off of the walls and often discarded. Those that survived are now prized by collectors all over the globe.

Vintage poster art is a wonderful and still quite reasonable way to collect beautiful, original art. The popularity of the antique images has grown enormously in the past 25 years and they are becoming increasingly rare. We specialize in this exciting art form and invite you to view our exciting and extensive collection of original advertising art from the 1890′ through 1990′s at Lido Gallery. 

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Absinthe Junod lithographed by A.Gallice d’après Misti, in a standard single-sheet 1.6m x 1.2m (63″ x 47″) format .

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Nitrolian by Leonetto Cappiello (63 x 47) 1929

SKY CANDY

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SKY LANTERNS

Spectacular and serene, the sight of flocks of paper stars swimming through the skies has become increasingly popular. Sky lanterns, also known as UFO lanterns, Wish Lanterns and other names, were created in the 3rd century BC by Chinese military strategists as a form of communication during war.

These days the lanterns, considered the first hot air balloons, have become eco-friendly celebratory symbols, a way thank the gods for blessings and send your worries packing.  Made from a thin material such as rice paper, a candle is attached to the lantern and lit. Hot air becomes trapped inside creating enough lift for it to float up to the sky.Image

Buddhists believe the sky lanterns are symbolic of your problems and worries floating away. They are offered to temples and monks in return for enlightenment, as the flame of the lantern symbolizes wisdom. The lantern’s light shows them to the ‘right path’.

During the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century, Chinese Lanterns became a symbol of hope and good wishes.  Citizens used them to bless their crops and to pray for what they needed. The belief was the sky lantern would float up to the heavens to be closer to the god’s ears.  The more lanterns used, the greater chance their wishes and prayers would come true. Today during the Chinese New Year, millions of sky lanterns are released over a two week period with a wish for good luck and prosperity in the coming year.

In Thailand wish lanterns also known as Khoom Loy or Khoom Fay, are widely used all year round especially for wedding ceremonies.  It is considered good luck to release a sky lantern, and many Thais also believe they are symbolic of problems and worries floating away. Their many breathtaking lantern festivals fill the sky with stunning displays.

 

 

 

THE ART OF OLIVES

Fine Art and Culinary Art have always been paired in interesting ways. The artist’s palette shows  the color ingredients for the painting,  while the palate of the tongue consists of your five taste sensors: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami or savory. Mushrooms, parmesan cheese, anchovies and olives are examples of umami—foods that also have the ability to enhance the other flavors in foods, giving them a certain fullness and roundness, a meaty quality.

I’d have to say umami is one of my favorite ‘colors’ on this palate, in a manner of speaking. And olives are one of my favorite foods. The sheer variety of color (from the ripening process), and flavor allows for the kind of nuances you might find in a Van Gogh or Monet.

Here are just a few of the many tasty varieties, each with its own character:

Cerignola: This meaty olive is harvested in green, black and red. The green and sometimes red variety has a mild and vegetal flavor. Black cerignolas have a softer flesh, are a little sweeter, and the pit is much easier to remove.

•  Picholine:  French green olive, salt-brine cured, with subtle, lightly salty flavor, sometimes packed with citric acid as a preservative in the U.S.

• Kalamata:  Greek black olive, harvested fully ripe, deep purple, almond-shaped, brine-cured, rich and fruity flavor

• Niçoise:  French black olive, harvested fully ripe, small in size, rich, nutty, mellow flavor, high pit-to-meat ratio, often packed with herbs and stems intact

• Liguria:  Italian black olive, salt-brine cured, with a vibrant flavor, sometimes packed with stems

• Ponentine:  Italian black olive, salt-brine cured then packed in vinegar, mild in flavor

• Gaeta:  Italian black olive, dry-salt cured, then rubbed with oil, wrinkled in appearance, mild flavor, often packed with rosemary and other herbs

• Lugano:  Italian black olive, usually very salty, sometimes packed with olive leaves, popular at tastings

• Sevillano:  Californian, salt-brine cured and preserved with lactic acid, very crisp

Empeltre: These Spanish black olives are soaked in sherry

Moroccan: a dry-cured olive, can be oil-cured or salt-cured. These shriveled black olives possess a slight bitterness and an intensity which also packs a lot of flavor in recipes.

Olive trees, one of the most often cited plants in western literature, were also a favorite subject for many artists, including Matisse, Monet, Van Gogh and others. Van Gogh painted at least 18 images of olive trees.

“In the olive trees — in the expressive power of their ancient and gnarled forms — Van Gogh found a manifestation of the spiritual force he believed resided in all of nature. His brushstrokes make the soil and even the sky seem alive with the same rustling motion as the leaves, stirred to a shimmer by the Mediterranean wind. These strong individual dashes do not seem painted so much as drawn onto the canvas with a heavily loaded brush. The energy in their continuous rhythm communicates to us, in an almost physical way, the living force that Van Gogh found within the trees themselves, the very spiritual force that he believed had shaped them.” -The National Gallery of Art  

I love snacking on big meaty Cerignolas.  And I enjoy a good Moroccan or Kalamata wrapped in fresh pita bread with a slice or ripe tomato, a smear of creamy French feta, cucumber and a quick drizzle of olive oil.

What are your favorite olives? Do you eat them plain, in recipes, on pizza?

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Salvador Dali - Olive Trees, Landscape at Cadaques


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Georges Braques-Olive Tree near Estaque

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Claude Monet- Grove of Olive Trees in Bordighera 1884
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Rene Magritte-The Annunciation

Van Gogh wrote his brother Theo: “I did a landscape with olive trees and also a new study of a starry sky,” calling this painting the daylight complement to the nocturnal,  Starry Night.

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Van Gogh-Olive Trees in a Mountainous Landscape

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Van Gogh- Starry Night

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Henri Matisse-Promenade among the Olive Trees, 1905–6

Image“And for sheer eccentricity, even Woody Allen has nothing on Farrow’s buddy when she was 17: Salvador Dali. Farrow told a booksellers convention, ‘We lunched on butterfly wings and toured New York City with garbage collectors. He judged sex to be too violent–and showers too.’”  Time

Yup, one of Dali’s BFF’s was Mia Farrow.  Shortly after Mia’s father died of a heart attack in 1963, she and the famed surrealist painter developed a close friendship that lasted until his death.  “Salvador Dali – accompanied by a sleek, black puma on a leash – attended Lady Sondes’ coming-out party. ‘Everyone was scared of it but me and it sat at my feet and purred all evening,’ she said. ‘I introduced Dali to Mia Farrow that night, and the two of them became fast friends from then on.’”

When Mia married Frank Sinatra, Dalí ‘s wedding gift consisted of an owl, parts of a frog, and a moon rock. Dalí labeled it ”mythical suicide” when Mia Farrow allowed Vidal Sassoon to chop off her hair in 1966. When she complained of her life being in a rut, Dalí advised her to wear her shows on the opposite feet.  A few days later, she thanked him, telling him his advice had yielded a fresh perspective.

In June, 2010, five telegram/fax grams sent by  Dalí to Farrow between 1975 and 1988 to what appears to be an annual Palm Sunday party  were auctioned off for $375.  Accompanied by a single dried palm frond. Farrow says of Dalí , “He always sent me a telegram on Palm Sunday. And usually they just said, ‘Palm Sunday, Palm Sunday, Palm Sunday.’”

Mia recently tweeted, @MiaFarrow: Salvador Dalí’s surreally stunning illustrations for Alice in Wonderland circa 1969 http://j.mp/tu7rwy”via @brainpicker.  

 

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Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Fresco, 1st AD Flora,the goddess of flowers and spring, fills her basket with freshly picked blooms.

Symbolism and mythology have surrounded the history of flowers for thousands of years, influencing our responses and provoking emotions. During the Victorian period, flowers were used as symbols and gestures of sentiments. Many Artists and writers also assigned meaning to the flowers used in paintings.  Shakespeare used flowers and plants to convey emotion. Ophelia wore flowers as symbols of her deep sorrow and grief.

In Asian Art, the lotus, which has petals that open when the sun comes up and closes at sunset, symbolizes birth and rebirth. The intoxicating jasmine flower in Hindu art represents love. As a flower which blindly follows the sun, sunflowers have become a symbol of infatuation or foolish passion. The thistle, a thorny plant with a beautiful flower, represents both evil and protection. In Christianity it represents the suffering of Christ.

Flowers and their historic meanings compiled by the Society of American Florists.

Flower Meaning
Alstroemeria: Aspiring
Amaryllis: Dramatic
Anemone: Fragile
Apple Blossom: Promise
Aster: Contentment
Azalea: Abundance
Baby’s Breath: Festivity
Bachelor Button: Anticipation
Begonia: Deep thoughts
Black-Eyed Susan: Encouragement
Camellia: Graciousness
Carnation:
Pink: Gratitude
Red: Flashy
Striped: Refusal
White: Remembrance
Yellow: Cheerful
Chrysanthemum:
Bronze: Excitement
White: Truth
Red: Sharing
Yellow: Secret Admirer
Cosmos: Peaceful
Crocus: Foresight
Daffodil: Chivalry
Delphinium: Boldness
Daisy: Innocence
Freesia: Spirited
Forget-Me-Not: Remember Me Forever
Gardenia: Joy
Geranium: Comfort
Ginger: Proud
Gladiolus: Strength of Character
Heather: Solitude
Hibiscus: Delicate Beauty
Holly: Domestic Happiness
Hyacinth: Sincerity
Hydrangea: Perseverance
Iris: Inspiration
Ivy: Fidelity
Jasmine: Grace and Elegance
Larkspur: Beautiful Spirit
Lavender: Distrust
Lilac: First Love
Lilly:
Calla: Regal
Casablanca: Celebration
Day: Enthusiasm
Stargazer: Ambition
Lisianthus: Calming
Magnolia: Dignity
Marigold: Desire for Riches
Nasturtium: Patriotism
Orange Blossom: Fertility
Orchid: Delicate Beauty
Pansy: Loving Thoughts
Passion Flower: Passion
Peony: Healing
Poppy: Consolation
Queen Anne’s Lace: Delicate Femininity
Ranunculus: Radiant
Rhododendron: Beware
Rose:
Pink: Friendship
Red: Passionate Love
Red and White: Unity
White: Purity
Yellow: Zealous
Snapdragon: Presumptuous
Star of Bethlehem: Hope
Stephanotis: Good Luck
Statice: Success
Sunflower: Adoration
Sweetpea: Shyness
Tuberose: Pleasure
Tulip:
Pink: Caring
Purple: Royalty
Red: Declaration of Love
White: Forgiveness
Yellow: Hopelessly in Love
Violet: Faithfulness
Wisteria: Steadfast
Yarrow: Good Health
Zinnia: Thoughts of Friends

Happy Spring, Almost!

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Botticelli, Primavera, 1482 Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

“They came to dine in almost ritual form—Mallarmé, Valéry, Whistler, Cézanne, Rodin, and many other illustrious painters and poets—first a visit to Monet’s studio and greenhouses, lunch 11:30 a.m. (the family always dined early to enable Monet to make the most of the afternoon light),  a walk to see the water lilies, followed by tea and pain de Genes under the lime trees. “  From Monet’s Table: The Cooking Journals of Claude Monet  by  Claire Joyes.

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The Luncheon

Chicken in White Wine Sauce / POULET à la PERIGOURDINE

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 roasting chicken (about 3 pounds), cut into serving pieces
6 shallots, 3 of them chopped
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup dry white wine

Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet and sauté the chicken pieces.  When they are nicely browned, remove and reserve them.  Add the three chopped and three whole shallots to the pan.  When they have begun to brown, return the chicken and any cooking juices to the pan.  Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat and cook for about 45 minutes, turning the pieces from time to time, until they are uniformly cooked through.  As soon as the liquid begins to dry up, add the wine.  Discard the whole shallots before serving hot.  Serves 4

Cherry Bake / Clafouti

Reserve the cherry pits for adding to other baked or stewed fruit to give it a good flavor.

1 cup flour
¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 cups (1 pound) cherries, pitted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Make a batter with the flour, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the eggs, salt, and the milk, beating the mixture until smooth.  It should not be too liquid.  Grease a pie pan and put the cherries into it; they should be tightly packed.  Pour the batter over them and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until the batter is golden.  Serves 4.

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Excerpt from Monet's Cooking Journals

Genoa Cake/ Pain de Genés

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar

5 eggs

2 ¼ cups ground almonds

2 tablespoons kirsch

2/3 cup flour

½ cup sifted confectioner’s sugar (optional)

1 cup slivered almonds (optional)

Grease a shallow 8-inch cake pan. Preheat the oven to 350°. Cream the butter in a bowl and beat in the sugar, beating until the mixture is creamy. Continue beating well after each addition. Beat in the ground almonds with the kirsch. Finally, add the flour and beat well. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until golden. If desired, sprinkle with the sifted confectioner’s sugar and top with slivered almonds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

Claude Monet’s palettes were inspired by his love of nature and his lush Giverny gardens. With the introduction of paint in tubes, like toothpaste, artists no longer had to grind and mix pigment powders with linseed oil. At the same time, in the 1870’s, the portable French box easel was invented allowing Monet to paint en plein air, “in the open air,” where his paintings became a careful exploration of color and mood.

“When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you, a tree, a house, a field, or whatever. Merely think, here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you…”

 

But Monet’s deep appreciation of color wasn’t limited to the outdoors. Step into his kitchen and you’ll find that sunlight yellow bathes not only his walls, but the tables, chairs. The tiles and even the dishes brighten the space with vibrant blues, the color of sky and water.

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A dinner invitation from the Monet’s meant fresh fruits and vegetables from his gardens or chickens and provisions from farmhouses in the area.  It meant enjoying a beautifully prepared meal, perhaps from one of the food journals he kept. He was famous for gathering recipes from friends during his travels and from the great restaurants he patronized.  Monet entertained writers, actors and artists including Cézanne who shared with Monet his special recipe for bouillabaisse, and Millet who gave him his recipe for rolls. His delicious apple Tarte Tatin came from the Tatin sisters themselves.  

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