Monsavon by Jean Carlu

Jean Carlu is one of the more famous art deco poster designers from France during the 1900s. This piece in particular, the Monsavon, was just an advertisement for a soap brand in France. Jean Carlu is one of the four main designers during the Art Deco era in France. In all honesty, in most of the books I looked in, as well as in the websites I looked up Jean Carlu and his different pieces in, did not really give much information as to the individual posters themselves, at least, not as much as they gave on the creator himself. Therefore, I’ve decided to just talk about the piece itself.

The poster itself features a drawing of a man that is primarily made from angular points and geometric shapes. In the same style that many of Carlu’s pieces were done in, this piece was done mostly in the Cubism style and reflects many of the details that most cubism pieces reflect. For example, as I mentioned before, the man himself is made of angular points and geometric shapes, and along with this, it features a very bright color, the flat orangy color, contrasted against the shape of the man himself in black. Along with this, the bold san serif font gives it a kind of demanding feel, like the person who created this really wants you to buy this particular soap; another thing that supports the message is that the man is thrusting the soap towards you as if telling you to take it from him. The little squares in the background also help reflect Cubism, and the fact that it is soap that is being advertised, the tiles are the geometric cubism bit, and they also remind me, personally, of bathroom tiles. This was one of the most famous of Carlu’s pieces because this particular soap brand was, and still is, one of the main soap brands used in France.