While my specialty is French postcards, I've been known to cross some European borders if it's something I like.
Like this stunning postcard, which was originally a 1906 poster design, to announce a special exhibition in Milan of works by Italian artist Giovanni Segantini (1858 – 1899).
Segantini was one of the rare artists who enjoyed fame while alive. His biography on Wikipedia is thoroughly interesting and impressive; he came from abject poverty with no schooling to end up with gold medals for his paintings. "At the 1890 Salon in Brussels, Segantini was given an entire exhibition room, an honor awarded such greats as Cézanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh. ... a whole room was devoted to his work in the Munich Secession in 1896" as well.
So imagine the task Italian designer Adolfo Magrini faced when designing a poster to honor this great artist? Since Segantini himself was influenced by Symbolism, it seems only fitting that Magrini (1876-1957) turned to mythology to represent him.
In this postcard we see a muscular centaur on a mountain peak reaching heavenward toward a winged woman flying over a snow-capped range. The strength and virility of the bulging muscled mythic beast stands in stark contrast to the gentle curves of the nude woman. One immediately feels the power and longing of the centaur.
Please note that the accurate colors are conveyed in the direct flat scans. The photo at an angle is taken under natural daylight and makes the blue a different shade. But I like to include a photo for size perspective and because other details in an image often pop out and offer greater clarity.
This card is about 3.5 by 5.5 inches. There are some white spots on the left edge, which initially look like wear but there's also a thin white line in the blue sky, so this is actually inherent to the printing. The artist's signature is at the top right corner. Foxing spots verso but overall this card is in mint unused condition.
An online search shows that Magrini's posters and prints can bring $3-4,000 dollars. You can have your own glicee or poster created from this postcard at a fraction of the cost.
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