The SS La Provence was a luxurious ocean liner that belonged to the French Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. Launched in 1905, it was the largest ship ever built in France at that time. It was taken over by the government and turned into a military vessel during World War I, when it was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea on Feb. 26, 1916. Thanks to French artist Ernest Lessieux (1848-1925) and his son Louis Ernest, the grandeur of La Provence was preserved when they worked together to produce a series of paintings/postcards for the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. No doubt the Belle Epoque bourgeois pictured in this scene captured in shades of pink and peach were reminded of the Paris Opera House back home! What luxury they enjoyed while taking that six days and four hours crossing from the Havre to New York!
Verso, this postcard is hand-dated Aug. 8, 1916. The perforated edges makes me think it was likely torn from a souvenir book sold by the shipping company. Album impressions at the corners are more feelable than seeable. Overall, this card is in near mint condition. Typical antique postcard size: about 3.5 by 5.5 inches.
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