Gorgeous, unposted, French artist signed Kirchner postcard of a glamorous woman holding a sheath of wheat titled "La Glaneuse" ("The Gleaner"). A gleaner is someone who picks up grain left in the field by the harvesters. Published by A. Leroy & R. Cremieu, Paris. Card verso reads La Glaneuse par Raphael Kirchner Marque. L-E déposée Paris. (The Gleaner by Raphael Kirchner. L-É trademark Paris.) and "Trichromie artistique - Imp. A. Leroy et R. Crémieu, 4BIS, rue des Suisses, paris." (Artistic trichromy - Imp. A. Leroy and R. Crémieu, 4BIS, rue des Suisses, paris.) Card is in good vintage condition with chipping of all corners - worse on the lower corners, some small corner creases, corner bumping, a crease in the right upper quadrant of the white area on the front of the card, several scattered small stains (see pictures) and minor age-associated discoloration and scuffing.
Raphael Kirchner (1876-1917) Austrian b. Vienna from Metro Postcard's website
After studying the Vienna Academy of fine arts in 1896, Kirchner began his career as a portrait painter but was illustrating postcards as early as 1898. After moving to Paris in 1900 his commercial work became more dominant and he was designing magazine covers and within a year. Most of his postcards were produced in sets, which tend to differ widely stylistically but not in subject. They almost all depict women with his wife Nina, the Kirchner Girl, being the model for many of them. Though his depictions of women range from ordinary portraits to nudes, he gained the reputation of expressing them with a more erotic nuance than most. Some consider his designs as an early form of pin-up. While some cards contain a lot of Art Nouveau decorative elements, others tend to be more realistic. There is even a very popular series influenced by Japonisme. Since not all of his postcards are signed, his constantly changing stylistic elements can make it difficult to determine a genuine Kirchner, especially when other illustrators imitated his popular style. After the outbreak of World War One he moved to the United States where he continued to paint portraits and provide illustrations for Ziegfeld Folly posters and magazines such as Puck. He also designed postcards that were printed in New York and in London. It is believed that he produced over 1000 postcard images that were issued by many different publishers. Kirchner suffered an appendicitis attack while painting a portrait and died of complications just hours after his operation.
A. Leroy & R. Cremieu (1920’s) Paris, France from Metro Postcard's website
A publisher of artist signed postcards, many with erotic content. They sometimes used the work of well known artist such as Raphael Kirchner for there cards. They produced their cards through the tricolor process, which they referred to as Trichromie artistique.
Unposted, French, artist signed Kirchner postcard of a glamorous woman