This is one of seven antique postcards I have featuring the artwork of French painter Ernest Gayac (1870-1942). This one is entitled "Rêverie." It's marked No. 35 verso; the others I have in this series (as seen in the last photo) are 31, 32, 33, , 37, 38, 39 and 40 (sold). Despite the tack marks at the top and bottom of the card, she's worthy of adding to your postcard collection because Gayac's cards are hard to come by. [And when I get my hands on some of the full-body dancer postcards, you'll definitely want a Gayac collection!] Unused and no creases. Typical antique postcard size of about 3.5 by 5.5 inches. Errant specks or spots -- like the blue dot on her chin -- are inherent to the antique printing. P.J. Gallais & Cie were one of the shorter-lived Paris-based postcard publishers, only in operation from 1910 to 1917. So this cards is at least 100 years old. My favorite postcard history site, the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York, says this company produced "artist signed cards, political satire, and risque subjects all in chromolithography."
Ernest Gailhac was born in 1870 in Bordeaux. He attended Saint-Cyr, the foremost French military academy and was a second lieutenant by 1894. But it is said he spent more time making caricatures of his instructors than applying himself to the military studies. However, he resigned after a knee injury that caused him to limp. He went to Paris and established himself, hobnobbing with other artists in the Montmartre area. Sometime around 1900 he simply became known as Gayac and that's how he signed his work. His artistic talent ranged from oil paintings of erotic, graceful dancers who seem to fly more than dance to caricatures and comic illustrations. The latter can be found in antique copies of the French satirical magazine Le Rire. Gayac eventually returned to his hometown of Bordeaux and sadly, by 1942 when he died, he was unknown. His works are rare. A special thanks for this bit of biographical information provided by Jacques Sargos for a gallery exhibition in Bordeaux.
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Unique French Postcards for the Serious Collector and Other Delights from France!
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