The Ré Collection

Each Ré poster is inspired by a vintage poster from the Posters Golden Age (1885- 1939). The process begins with a powerful Golden Age image as selected by the contemporary chromist/artist in consultation with Rue Royale’s panel of experts. Images from many well-remembered artists who participated in the Golden Age; Toulouse-Lautrec, Mucha, Cheret, Bonnard, Steinlen, Beardsley, and Flagg are just a few included in our collection. During the Golden Age of Posters, there were many other master posterists in Europe and in America. These true geniuses created magnificent art, but their names and works have virtually disappeared from view. Many of these images have now been preserved and recreated and are part of the Ré collection lithographs.

The main purpose of a Golden Age poster when they were originally created was to advertise.  They were printed on cheap paper with fugitive inks and were plastered on walls and displayed in shop windows.  They were meant to endure just a few weeks.  Most of the few Golden Age posters that remain have been ravaged by time. Paper has yellowed and torn. Colors have faded. Lines have blurred.  Today, many good vintage posters are so scarce that even if they are in fair condition, they trade for astronomical prices.

Inspired by vintage posters, our two-part mission was:

  • To preserve and make available for posterity, superbly executed, high quality lithographs of the very best poster art of the Golden Age of Posters, and
  • To make them high quality and accessible to the public at affordable prices so they can be collected and enjoyed by all lovers of poster art.

In pursuing this mission, a very extensive research library was assembled, internationally prominent poster art authorities were enlisted, and worked closely with prestigious museums and foundations.

Each Ré poster represents outstanding value.  Not only are the images striking, fresh, and beautiful, but the old-fashioned, time-consuming, meticulous re-creation production procedures result in Ré original artworks that far transcend in quality anything else available at anywhere near the price.

After selecting each poster image for the Re, a highly skilled contemporary artist was commissioned. There only a few artists left who are expert lithography chromists and they had to draw each stone or plate by hand for the Ré poster edition. There must be one separate hand-drawn plate for each color. The artists worked directly from  rare originals and collections of vintage art, or images accessed by the publisher from a museum, foundation, or a prominent dealer or collector. The inks were selected by the artists working closely with a panel of experts-to assure that not only the image but also each color of the Ré was re-created to the exact, pristine colors of the poster as it was originally intended.

 

From hand-­drawn plates, the Ré edition was pulled at the Atelier by a team of highly trained artisans, with one separate pull for each color. Registration must be perfect and on our wonderful, rare flatbed Marinoni Voirin presses, manufactured in Paris in the 1800s, the images were made . These marvelous antique presses are by far the finest ever made for producing lithographs. Only a few are known to remain in the world and Rue Royale Fine Art owns five of them.

These magnificent machines are, in fact, the very same presses utilized to produce original Golden Age posters 60 to 130 years ago. It is this time consuming, expensive, fine art process, so different from today’s high speed methods of mass producing dot structured colored posters derived from photographed plates, that provides so much of the marvelous aesthetic qualities of the original vintage images.

It is almost impossible to tell the difference between a Ré and an antique Golden Age poster, except for five factors:

  1. All Ré posters are printed on expensive, archival, rag content art paper, not yellowed by time
  2. The colors and line work of each Ré are fresh and pristine as they were originally meant to be-not faded, oxidized, and blurred by aging.
  3. The signature of the Ré artist unobtrusively appears within the image, assuring that the Ré cannot be mistaken or passed off by unscrupulous dealers as an antique.
  4. The small, unobtrusive hallmark of the S2 Atelier and in some cases the Museum or Foundation that collaborated are in the image.
  5. An individual sequential pencil number is on each Ré lithograph.

 

Each Ré is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Poster connoisseurs are astonished by the beauty and striking quality of Ré Collection and are amazed that a Ré lithograph, in many respects, is aesthetically superior to the antique.  Edition sizes are in general limited, in order to keep offering prices low.
The Ré Collection embraces the concept of providing highest, superb quality original art at accessible pricing. Ré poster’s are meant for everyone of culture and taste who appreciates quality art with the highest aesthetic standards.